Written by two leading social and cultural historians, the first two editions of A Social History of the Media became classic textbooks, providing a masterful overview of communication media and of the social and cultural contexts within which they emerged and evolved over time. This third edition has been thoroughly revised to bring the text up to date with the very latest developments in the field. Increased space is given to the exciting media developments of the early 21st Century, including in particular the rise of social and participatory media and the globalization of media. Additionally, new and important research is incorporated into the classic material exploring the continuing importance of oral and manuscript communication, the rise of print and the relationship between physical transportation and social communication. Avoiding technological determinism and rejecting assumptions of straightforward evolutionary progress, this book brings out the rich and varied histories of communication media. In an age of fast-paced media developments, a thorough understanding of media history is more important than ever, and this text will continue to be the first choice for students and scholars across the world.