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All the FactsA History of Information in the United States since 1870$
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James W. Cortada

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190460679

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190460679.001.0001

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How Americans Used Information to Shape Their Society

How Americans Used Information to Shape Their Society

(p.455) Chapter 11 How Americans Used Information to Shape Their Society
All the Facts

James W. Cortada

Oxford University Press

This is the concluding chapter, which summarizes the key themes of the book. It also offers insights that are organized according to the different constituencies they are aimed at: historians, sociologists, economists, business management, and public officials. The chapter argues that the study has implications for Americans in the way they go about living their everyday lives and concludes that use of information has been central to the lives of all Americans since the early days of the colonization of North America. It returns to themes discussed throughout the book, such as to the role of information ecosystems in which people used information, information networks by which individuals obtained and shared information, and the factors that either facilitated or restrained the creation, flow, and use of information, or what we are calling facts in this book. This chapter recalls the major point of the book, that information constituted as an important pillar of American society as such other critical features as its democracy, formation as a society of immigrants, capitalism and free enterprise, among others. It calls for future histories of the United States to take into account the role of information in how Americans shaped their society and went about their activities since colonial times.

Keywords:   information, information ecosystem, information infrastructure, implications, worker, management, academics, everyday life

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