How The World Was One is a highly interesting history of communications from the telegraph forward, written by a true expert on the subject. The first 100 or so pages of the book focus on the invention of the telegraph, and the great and largely unknown trials and troubles that went into the laying of the first transatlantic submarine cable. This stranger-than-fiction tale is enchanced by the underlying substory of the life of such people as the "great American" Cyrus W. Field. Further into the book, we are told of the invention of the telephone and the subsequent impact it had on communications, and, indeed, civilization itself. Here we hear about people such as, of course, Alexander Graham Bell, and Oliver Heaviside. After this, we are treated to a true insider's view of comsats, a thing which Clarke, as is well known, played a large part in, and we are given here a reprint of his classic "Short Pre-History of Comsats: Or How I Lost A Billion Dollars In My Spare Time." Due to the author's personal involvement, the subject comes off as fresh and interesting, and does not read like dry technical jargon. The same is true of the book as a whole. There are technical bits involved (indeed, in the book there is a reprint of ACC's original comsat essay "Extra-Terrestrial Relays", published in Wireless World in 1945), but Clarke is a gifted writer, and the book's prose is such that it is interesting to the expert and enlightening and entertaining to the unitiated. This book is fairly hard to find, but I suggest you pick it up if you can find it, if you are looking for some good non-SF ACC, or a get-it-all-in-one-place communications history.