All the Knowledge in the World: The Extraordinary History of the Encyclopaedia
The encyclopaedia once shaped our understanding of the world. Created by thousands of scholars and the most obsessive of editors, adults cleared their shelves in the belief that wisdom was now effortlessly accessible in their living rooms. But now these huge books gather dust and sell for almost nothing on eBay, and we derive our information from the internet, apparently for free. What have we lost in this transition? And how did we tell the progress of our lives in the past? Simon wonders whether the promise of complete knowledge – that most human of ambitions – will forever be beyond our grasp.