I picked this up on the sale pile at Banes & Noble a few years back and didn't get around to reading it for another year. This is one gem of a book. The author uses the book not so much to detail how Gutenberg 'invented' printing (he didn't invent the process per se, he just melded a number of existing technologies to make printing effective and efficient), but the book instead discusses the impact of printing on the immediate world. The printing press was the internet of it's day. Almost overnight the distribution of permanent information became quick and cheap. The printing press (used to print The Bible in local languages) spurred the expansion of the Reformation. Kings, princes and the Catholic Church tried mightily to stifle the development and expansion of the printing press, with no success. The future could not be denied, and the future was the printed word!