Mark Moss on the visualization of history

Last year I came across a very helpful book by Mark Moss, Toward the Visualization of History: The Past as Image (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008). It helped confirm a number of convictions that I have had for a while. First, “for today’s generation, history comes from images” (p.85), and their reading is like their watching t.v.—it is by “quick looks.”

Then, Moss argues that the print revolution of Johann Gutenberg led to an increase of individualism and a growth in the desire for privacy since reading was a solitary activity (p.71).

Finally, relevant for a Canadian like myself, was the observation that “Canadians think our history [that is, the history of Canada] is a snore” (p.151). Sad, but true!