Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

Category: Book
By (author): Johnson, Steven
Subject:  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Globalization
  SCIENCE / General
  SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects
  TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Inventions
Publisher: Riverhead
Published: November 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.56in
Availability:
Unavailable

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From the New York Times–bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained.

This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. 
 
Johnson's storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.  
 
Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.
Review Quote*Praise for How We Got to Now:

"[Johnson's] point is simple, important and well-timed: During periods of rapid innovation, there is always tumult as citizens try to make sense of it. . . . Johnson is an engaging writer, and he takes very complicated and disparate subjects and makes their evolution understandable." -The Washington Post
 
"An unbelievable book . . . it's an innovative way to talk about history." -Jon Stewart
 
"What makes this book such a mind-expanding read is Johnson's ability to appreciate human advancement as a vast network of influence, rather than a simple chain of one invention leading to another, and the result is nothing less than a celebration of the human mind." -The Daily Beast
 
"The reader of How We Got to Now cannot fail to be impressed by human ingenuity, including Johnson's, in determining these often labyrinthine but staggeringly powerful developments of one thing to the next." -San Francisco Chronicle
 
Praise for Where Good Ideas Come From:
  
"Brilliant . . . Johnson is an exemplar of the post-categorical age. . . . The ‘long zoom' approach gives Johnson's book power, makes it a tool for understanding where we stand today, and makes it satisfying." -New York Times Book Review
 
"A vision of innovation and ideas that is resolutely social, dynamic, and material . . . Fluidly written, entertaining, and smart without being arcane." -Los Angeles Times
Biographical NoteSteven Johnson is the bestselling author of ten books, including How We Got to Now, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Mapand Everything Bad Is Good for You. The founder of a variety of influential websites, he is the host and co-creator of the PBS and BBC series How We Got to Now. Johnson lives in Marin County, California, and Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and three sons.