Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe

Author:   Jean-Noel Jeanneney ,  Teresa Lavender Fagan ,  Ian Wilson
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226395777


Pages:   96
Publication Date:   13 October 2006
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe


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Overview

The recent announcement that Google will digitize the holdings of several major libraries sent shock waves through the book industry and academe. Google presented this digital repository as a first step towards a long-dreamed-of universal library, but skeptics were quick to raise a number of concerns about the potential for copyright infringement and unanticipated effects on the business of research and publishing. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, president of France's Bibliotheque Nationale, here takes aim at what he sees as a far more troubling aspect of Google's Library Project: its potential to misrepresent--and even damage--the world's cultural heritage. In this impassioned work, Jeanneney argues that Google's unsystematic digitization of books from a few partner libraries and its reliance on works written mostly in English constitute acts of selection that can only extend the dominance of American culture abroad. This danger is made evident by a Google book search the author discusses here--one run on Hugo, Cervantes, Dante, and Goethe that resulted in just one non-English edition, and a German translation of Hugo at that. An archive that can so easily slight the masters of European literature--and whose development is driven by commercial interests--cannot provide the foundation for a universal library. As a leading librarian, Jeanneney remains enthusiastic about the archival potential of the Web. But he argues that the short-term thinking characterized by Google's digital repository must be countered by long-term planning on the part of cultural and governmental institutions worldwide--a serious effort to create a truly comprehensive library, one based on the politics of inclusion and multiculturalism.

Full Product Details

Author:   Jean-Noel Jeanneney ,  Teresa Lavender Fagan ,  Ian Wilson
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
Dimensions:   Width: 14.50cm , Height: 1.30cm , Length: 22.20cm
Weight:   0.258kg
ISBN:  

9780226395777


ISBN 10:   0226395774
Pages:   96
Publication Date:   13 October 2006
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Reviews

A work that not only addresses a critical issue but articulates practical proposals that can, and should, command the attention of cultural policy-makers and decision-makers everywhere. It is also essential reading for the wider public. The issue is about which principles . . . should guide the processes of digitising the world's literary heritage. --Colin Nettelbeck Australian Book Review Whether Google maintains its hegemony in the realm of book digitization or in fact a robust non-Anglo-American challenger emerges to contest it, designers of the next big digital library will benefit from a careful reading of the big objections of this slim volume. --Henry Lowood Technology and Culture Provides a crucial dissenting opinion. . . . The Google war chest has all but secured dominance over smaller library efforts, like the author's own project to digitize the French national collection. History judges societies by how they treat their most disadvantaged members. This book asks only that the Google economy be held to the same standard. --David Ng Forbes A take on world Googleization you're not likely to get from your broker. . . . [Jeanneney] brings his own high-wattage bulb to enlighten us. Be thankful we didn't ban French fries, French wine, and this very illuminating French book. --Carlin Romano Philadelphia Inquirer Jean-Noel Jeanneney is horrified when he imagines how our children might come to see the world: Will future generations think no great books have been written in a language other than English? And even worse: Will they see history only through American eyes? The president of the French national library has made himself the frontman in what he sees as a struggle to save cultural diversity. In the postmodern world, the battleground is the internet. Here, search engines determine what tomorrow's generations will click on, learn and think. --Financial Times --Financial Times


A work that not only addresses a critical issue but articulates practical proposals that can, and should, command the attention of cultural policy-makers and decision-makers everywhere. It is also essential reading for the wider public. The issue is about which principles . . . should guide the processes of digitising the world''s literary heritage. -- Colin Nettelbeck Australian Book Review


A work that not only addresses a critical issue but articulates practical proposals that can, and should, command the attention of cultural policy-makers and decision-makers everywhere. It is also essential reading for the wider public. The issue is about which principles . . . should guide the processes of digitising the world's literary heritage. --Colin Nettelbeck Australian Book Review


Provides a crucial dissenting opinion. . . . The Google war chest has all but secured dominance over smaller library efforts, like the author's own project to digitize the French national collection. History judges societies by how they treat their most disadvantaged members. This book asks only that the Google economy be held to the same standard. --David Ng Forbes


Author Information

Jean-Noel Jeanneney was the president of the Bibliotheque nationale de France from 2002 until 2007. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated more than a dozen books for the University of Chicago Press.

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