Friday, June 24, 2005

In praise of short books

William Grimes in The New York Times looks at a growing trend for bite-size publishing.
The Modern Library, in its Chronicles series, expands the short-take concept to just about everything. It has included titles by A. N. Wilson on London, Jeffrey Garten on globalization, Colin Renfrew on prehistory and Pankaj Mishra on the rise of modern India. My introduction to the series came with "The Company," the snappily told history of an idea that today rules all our lives. The authors, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, who both work for The Economist, begin with simple barter exchanges in ancient Mesopotamia and in a little less than 200 pages arrive at their final destination, the multinational corporation. In a couple of hours, the reader travels through all of recorded history and comes out the other end, stuffed with valuable information and pointed toward the future.

Give me more. I mean, less.

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