In All the Facts, Cortada seeks to enlarge our thinking about information and its role in the broad sweep of American history. In this ambitious project, Cortada tracks the growth and cumulative effects of information in business and industry, government and education, and work and home life throughout a period of 150 years. He treats each of these domains in turn, using World War II as a chronological fulcrum. The narrative is encyclopedic. Studies of bureaucracy and information technology sit alongside discussions of cookbooks and baseball box scores. In addition to focusing on textual information—reports, surveys, manuals, newspapers, and books—Cortada also emphasizes the role of informal networks—civic, professional, and religious organizations—as embodied conduits of knowledge sharing and community building. The history of information, in Cortada’s telling, includes both management consultants and the Boy Scouts.

At a basic level, All the Facts documents the sheer volume and variety of information that...

You do not currently have access to this content.