The first email was sent less than forty years ago; by 2011 there will be 3.2 billion users.
The flood of messages is ceaseless. As the toll of email mounts, reducing our time for leisure and contemplation, and separating us from each other in the lonely battle with the inbox, Freeman enters a plea for communication that is more selective and nuanced and, above all, more sociable. Drawing on the research of linguists, scientists, critics and philosophers, Freeman's history of correspondence reveals how changing methods of communication have eroded the great distances between us. He shows how the telegram, newspapers, synchronised time and railway networks have changed everything from the nature of military intelligence to the messages we write to loved ones. From carrier pigeon to computer mouse, this fascinating and engaging history of how we communicate will make you view your inbox in a whole new light.