MESA Book Awards

Jonathan Bloom

Boston College

2002 Albert Hourani Book Award Honorable Mention

Paper Before Print is a sweeping study covering China to Europe, from writing in the ancient world to printing and the modern era, a development that couldn’t have taken place without the widespread availability of paper. Writing in a highly readable style Professor Bloom demonstrates the revolutionary impact that paper had on the Islamic world for its intellectual and artistic development. He also illustrates how this technological revolution invented by the Chinese and enhanced and improved by Muslim craftsmen had a tremendous impact on developments in Europe, particularly Spain and Italy. Here is a work that both enhances our understanding of developments within the Islamic world as well as places them in the context of world history. It is a book we highly recommend to colleagues and friends outside of Middle Eastern studies. We also wish to congratulate Yale University Press for the quality of the layout and design.

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