Originally published in two volumes in 1980, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change is now issued in a paperback edition containing both volumes. The work is a full-scale historical treatment of the advent of printing and its importance as an agent of change. Professor Eisenstein begins by examining the general implications of the shift from script to print, and goes on to examine its part in three of the major movements of early modern times - the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of modern science.
Preface; Part I. Introduction to an Elusive Transformation: 1. The unacknowledged revolution; 2. Defining the initial shift; some features of print culture; Part II. Classical and Christian Traditions Reorientated; Renaissance and Reformation Reappraised: 3. A classical revival reoriented: the two phases of the Renaissance; 4. The scriptual tradition recast: resetting the stage for the Reformation; Part III. The Book of Nature Transformed: 5. Introduction: problems of periodization; 6. Technical literature goes to press: some new trends in scientific writing and research; 7. Resetting the stage for the Copernican Revolution; 8. Sponsorship and censorship of scientific publication; Conclusion; Bibliographical index; General index.