From my blog posting:
It looked like University of Chicago Press' free book this month was only going to be a one-day download of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates
, but they've actually switched to another of Adrian Johns' titles for the rest of the month, the 776 page tome The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making
. This one is also in PDF format (DRM'd, not Kindle compatible; requires Adobe Digital Editions).
In The Nature of the Book, Adrian Johns transports his readers back to early modern England and the cauldron of creative and commercial forces in which print culture was formed. His uncanny eye for detail allows us to visit booksellers' shops and the Royal Society, paper manufactories and type foundries. We can eavesdrop on the often-bitter disputes between authors and printers, printers and booksellers, clerics and intellectuals as they debate and resolve the meaning and rights attached to the creation of ideas, their appearance in written form and then in print, and the opportunity to sell, buy, and read printed work. Johns focuses on the interplay between the scientific and print revolutions and on their roles, both complementary and antagonistic, in the production and dissemination of knowledge.
to sign up for the free download.
btw, it's an 85MB PDF download.