SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist's Companion for the 21st Century

Countryman Pr. Nov. 2015. 384p. illus. index. ISBN 9781581573114. pap. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781581575873. HIST
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OrangeReviewStarPolt (philosophy, Xavier Univ.; Emergency of Being), a blogger at the Classic Typewriter Page combines the history of typewriters (like the "Ball" used by Friedrich Nietzsche and machines that interact with computers) with a fun analysis of social implications. He examines meanings of "efficiency" over time by suggesting that often efficiency is a directive that must be rethought or perhaps rejected depending on what type of work is being completed. To accomplish these goals, Polt features scans of typed paper and plenty of illustrations of typewriters through its history. He states that most will last longer than the devices created to replace them, while acknowledging the challenges of finding replacement ribbons and repair shops (to match a trend toward interest in these machines).
VERDICT Effectively blending analysis of the mantras of our age with offers of a few alternative ideas, Polt's account will attract those curious about the changes in technology and social patterns, since this book is really a culture-critique masquerading as a history.

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