Walking on Sunshine

John Man – Alpha Beta – 2010/011

The Back of the Book: The idea behind the alphabet – that language with all its wealth of meaning can be recorded with a few meaningless signs – is an extraordinary one.  So extraordinary, in fact, that it occurred only once in human history:  in Egypt about 4,000 years ago.  Alpha Beta then follows the emergence of the western alphabet as it evolved into its present form, contributing vital elements to our sense of identity along the way.  The Israelites used it to define their God, the Greeks to capture their myths, the Romans to display their power.  And today it seems on the verge of yet further expansion through the Internet.

Tracking the alphabet as it leaps from culture to culture, John Man weaves discoveries, mysteries and controversies into a story of fundamental historical significance.

NotJustLaura’s Review: Although this was an interesting read, I have to confess that a lot of it went whizzing over my head.  At least I now know that studying English Language probably isn’t for me!  However, I still enjoyed the book – Mr Man has a nice, conversational tone which made the pages fly by.


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