All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States by James W. Cortada

By James W. Cortada

All the Facts offers a historical past of the position of data within the usa seeing that 1870, whilst the state started an almost 150-year interval of financial prosperity and technological and medical ameliorations. James Cortada argues that electorate and their associations used details largely as instruments to enhance their paintings and personal lives and they used proof to assist form how the country advanced in the course of those fourteen a long time. He argues that information's function has lengthy been a serious element of the paintings, play, tradition, and values of this country, and not more so than in the course of the 20th century whilst its functionality in society accelerated dramatically. whereas parts of this tale were tested through millions of scholars---such because the function of radio, newspapers, books, pcs, and the net, approximately such associations as schooling, significant enterprise, increased roles of governments from city management to the country condo, from agriculture to the prone and data industries---All the Facts seems to be in any respect of those components holistically, delivering a deeper perception into the way in which the USA advanced through the years.

An advent and eleven chapters describe what this data environment appeared like, the way it advanced, and the way it was once used. for one more enormous layer of knowledge approximately this topic the reader is directed to the precise bibliographic essay at the back of this ebook. It features a narrative heritage, case reports within the kind of sidebars, and tales illustrating key issues. Readers will locate, for instance, the tale of ways the united states postal method helped create latest info society, besides every little thing from books and newspapers to television, pcs, and the web.

The build-up to what many at the present time name the data Age took many years to accomplish and maintains to construct momentum. the results for the area, and never only for the us, are as profound as any mega-trend you possibly can determine within the heritage of humankind. All the Facts offers this improvement completely in an easy-to-digest structure that any lover of historical past, know-how, or the background of knowledge and company will enjoy.

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Extra info for All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States since 1870

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99 If I succumb to the risk of occasionally being ahistorical to deepen our understanding of today’s realities, it’s one I take responsibility for. BOOK PLAN FOR EXPLORING INFORMATION’S HISTORY To demonstrate that use of information occurred across all facets of American life and that its role proved far more extensive than historians and others have believed, we need a methodical approach. To achieve that, I apply a two-step process. First, I cluster American activities into three broad categories: business and professional, government and education under the umbrella of the public sector, and the rest grouped under the heading of private life.

We have already touched briefly on an early restraining factor, linguistic diversity. While North America was largely populated with English-speaking colonists, to a lesser extent French, German, and Spanish speakers lived here too. Yet for all practical purposes linguistic diversity proved minimal until the second half of the nineteenth century. The great exceptions were Indian languages, but at the time few Native Americans participated in the European-styled information ecosystem. Then the number of immigrants arriving in the United States increased by the millions, coming from over a dozen countries: Germans, who had come in a small wave in the 1700s largely into Pennsylvania, were followed by an even larger migration in the 1840s and 1850s; Scandinavians came into Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, parts of Michigan, even as far west as the Dakotas and Nebraska; Eastern Europeans clustered in American cities from New York to St.

I n t r o d u c i n g A m e r i c a n I n f or m at i o n ( 9 ) of the components of an information ecosystem had to exist for information to be created, updated, diffused, appropriated, relied upon, and to remain important in the lives of individuals and institutions. , patents and copyrights), and still others to transport people and goods via roads, canals, railroads, and airplanes. When combined, they constituted an ecosystem affecting uses and results for each, much like plants and animals in their respective environments.

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