Alpha Beta

Alpha Beta

How 26 Letters Shaped the Western World

Book - 2000
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Praise for Alpha Beta
"This book comes at the perfect moment as we rediscover the importance in early reading of cracking the alphabetic code. The story of how that code came into being is a fascinating one, and Man is the ideal writer to tell it." Times Educational Supplement

"A richly absorbing exploration, from B.C. to PCs, of the evolution of the most fundamental characters of our cultural history, the alphabet we so much take for granted. John Man writes with a compellingly restless curiosity and immediacy. The ever surprising, exotically detailed narrative in his informative book makes it as undryly enjoyable as a successful archaelogical dig of one of Alan Moorehead s colorful histories of African exploration." David Grambs, author of The Describer s Dictionary and The Endangered English Dictionary

"Text that is crisp, taut, and as clear as a bell.... A fascinating story with many a beguiling subplot along the way." New Scientist

"Letter perfect the best histories and mysteries of our ABC s!" Jeff McQuain, author of Never Enough Words and Power Language

Baker & Taylor
A survey on the history of letters runs a course from the first symbols pressed into clay tablets to the advent of the Internet.

Book News
Wiley has reprinted a delightful book originally published by Headline Book Publishing (in the UK) in 2000. The story of the alphabet is told, first by explaining the world of hieroglyphs and illustrating with pictures how much more economical an alphabet is. The stories of discovering and deciphering the world's alphabets are related in a breezy, spy-story style that holds the reader's interest by keeping the human element prominent. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Wiley, 2000
ISBN: 9780471415749
Branch Call Number: 411 MAN
Characteristics: 312 p. : map ; 21 cm


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