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Synopsis

In The Knowledge Web, James Burke, the bestselling author and host of television's Connections series, takes us on a fascinating tour through the interlocking threads of knowledge running through Western history. Displaying mesmerizing flights of fancy, he shows how seemingly unrelated ideas and innovations bounce off one another, spinning a vast, interactive web on which everything is connected to everything else: Carmen leads to the theory of relativity, champagne bottling links to wallpaper design, Joan of Arc connects through vaudeville to Buffalo Bill.

Illustrating his open, connective theme in the form of a journey across a web, Burke breaks down complex concepts, offering information in a manner accessible to anybody -- high school graduates and Ph.D. holders alike. The journey touches almost two hundred interlinked points in the history of knowledge, ultimately ending where it begins.

At once amusing and instructing, The Knowledge Web heightens our awareness of our interdependence -- with one another and with the past. Only by understanding the interrelated nature of the modern world can we hope to identify complex patterns of change and direct the process of innovation to the common good.

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