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About the book
  • Published: 24 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141039428
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99

The Paper Trail

An Unexpected History Of The World's Greatest Invention


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This is the story of how the book you are holding came to be. It is the history of how a simple Chinese invention has wrapped itself around our world for over two millennia, along the Silk Road, through the Renaissance, the Reformation and beyond, enabling history's most momentous ideas to flourish.

The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age.

  • Pub date: 24 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141039428
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99

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