The Skimmer

Book Review: The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox by John Freeman

The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox

By John Freeman

Scribner; 256 pages

Six months before John Freeman began his treatise for a "Slow Communication Movement," the literary critic was receiving about 300 e-mails a day. And he was not alone. In the time it takes to read this sentence, some 300 million e-mails will be sent and received. On average, Americans spend more time reading e-mails than they do with their spouses. E-mail has become, he argues, "our electronic fidget." In his history of mail from cuneiform tablets to the Pony Express to Gmail, Freeman traces how...

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