Media,Technology and Society: A History: From the Telegraph to the Internet, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Media,Technology and Society

A History: From the Telegraph to the Internet, 1st Edition

By Brian Winston


392 pages

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Challenging the popular myth of a present-day 'information revolution', Media Technology and Society is essential reading for anyone interested in the social impact of technological change. Winston argues that the development of new media forms, from the telegraph and the telephone to computers, satellite and virtual reality, is the product of a constant play-off between social necessity and suppression: the unwritten law by which new technologies are introduced into society only insofar as their disruptive potential is limited.


'In my view it will become the standard work on media and communications courses where we attempt to introduce students to the histories of communications … I loudly celebrate this important study and commend it unreservedly to all concerned with media, communications and the role of technologies in the world today.' - European Journal of Communications

'[Winston's] breadth of experience is evident in this thorough and lucid history The scope of the material and the detail presented in 300 information-rich pages plus some 250 references is impressive. Winston not only picks out the key 'facts' about a period or a technology, but what is more difficult, manages to tell the truth about what was going on at the time' - Journal of Documentation

'Anyone seriously interested in the field is likely to find much of interest, and to retain the history as a reference for use when presented with dubious 'facts' by enthusiasts of the new technologies This is recommended reading.' - Journal of Documentation

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Storm from Paradise: Technological Innovation, Diffusion and Suppression Part One: Propagating Sound at Considerable Distance 1. The Telegraph: The First Electrical Medium 2. Before the Speaking Telephone 3. The Capture of Sound

Part Two: The Vital Spark & Fugitive Pictures 4. Wireless and Radio 5. Mechanically Scanned Television 6. Electronically Scanned Television 7. Television Spin-offs and Redundancies

Part Three: Device For Casting Up Sums Very Pretty 8. Mechanising Calculation 9. The First Computers 10. Suppressing The Mainframes 11. The Integrated Circuit 12. The Coming of the Microcomputer

Part Four: The Intricate Web of Trails 13. The Beginnings of Networks 14. Networks & Recording Technologies 15. Communications Satellites 16. The Satellite Era 17. Cable Television 18. The Internet

Conclusion: The Pile of Debris

From the Boulevard des Capucins to the Leningradsky Prospect

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies