The ostensible purpose of a library is to preserve the printed
word. But for fifty years our country s libraries including the
Library of Congress have been doing just the opposite, destroying
hundreds of thousands of historic newspapers and replacing them
with microfilm copies that are difficult to read, lack all the
color and quality of the original paper and illustrations, and
deteriorate with age.
With meticulous detective work and Baker s well-known explanatory
power, Double Fold reveals a secret history of microfilm lobbyists,
former CIA agents, and warehouses where priceless archives are
destroyed with a machine called a guillotine. Baker argues
passionately for preservation, even cashing in his own retirement
account to save one important archive all twenty tons of it.
Written the brilliant narrative style that Nicholson Baker fans
have come to expect, Double Fold is a persuasive and often
devastating book that may turn out to be "The Jungle "of the
American library system.
"From the Trade Paperback edition.""
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