Reviews

James E. Grunig:   As an historian of both technology and the media, Bill Kovarik has made a unique contribution to our understanding of communication history. He explains how the print, visual, electronic, and digital technological revolutions have shaped communication. Equally important, he shows that that new technologies have been invented to overcome the limitations of existing media. This is fascinating reading, both for communication scholars and historians. — Dr.  Grunig is a  Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, at the University of Maryland.

Maurine H. Beasley:   Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age offers a new approach to media history, presenting an encyclopedic look at the way technological change has linked social and ideological communities. Based on exhaustive scholarship, it narrates the story of revolutions in printing, electronic communication and digital information, while drawing parallels between the past and present. A stunning work of research, it conveys intellectual excitement and stimulates creative thinking about the social construction of communication. — Dr. Beasley is Professor Emerita of Journalism, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.

David R. Spencer:   I could almost imagine myself standing next to William Caxton as the newly inked printed pages of the Canterbury Tales began to accumulate on the table next to his printing machine. Bill Kovarik’s latest work on the history of the media has brought together under one academic roof the role of technology and how it has shaped our way of life and our world. He deserves full credit for the way his words take on both colour and a sense of adventure. This work belongs on the book shelves of any university or college program in which the study of technology and its co companion media has a central focus. Let it be said that Kovarik’s readers will never suffer a dull moment in this beautifully tailored work as he walks through some of the most important history of the age from the Ipad to the cell phone to the Internet.  — David R. Spencer, is a Professor at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

Mark Neuzil:    Revolutions in Communication uses a heavy dollop of the history of technology to provide an additional, not to say alternative, narrative in the history of the mass media. Kovarik has the most complete understanding of media technology among journalism historians working today. It is a very interesting and useful work.  Mark Neuzil, Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of St. Thomas

Mechthild Schmidt:  ‘Revolutions in Communication’ is a thorough overview of Media History,  including social, legal and political backgrounds. Bill Kovarik uses it for his own online class and makes a large part of his companion site public. The website includes many links beyond material discussed in the book. The book has several in-depth chapters on journalism with a focus on the US. Global media history of the last century & digital media feels slightly abbreviated. I considered four other media history books and decided for Kovarik as the main textbook for my undergraduate class – with additional readings/screenings on international film, design & 21st century media. — Mechthild Schmidt is an associate professor at New York University.