• by Steven Johnson
  • Narrated by George Newbern
  • 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained.
This history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation has lain wherever people have been working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused.
Johnson's storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey, from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.
Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating story of beginnings

Highly accessible well orchestrated illustration of the connections between developments and what preceded their arrivals and often a sound theory on why they were successful. I especially enjoyed the approach to the explaining the development of music. Play is the prelude to something serious! This book took me on a journey of thought. Bravo!
Read full review

- Dark-N-Stormy


if you enjoyed Johnsons' previous works on creativity then you'll enjoy this work's exploration of play. While the subjects are varied, I enjoy Johnsons' writing style which never drags or drolls on but leads you to some new and enlightened idea. Whether in print or digital audio I found this to be a pleasurable read.
Read full review

- Jaime Antonio Torres

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio