'For fifteen years we have been waiting for a deep level-headed examination of the ways in which print transformed Europe. Elizabeth Eisenstein has written that book … Eisenstein has an intimate familiarity with the great narrative of modern history since the 15th century. She boasts an unsurpassed feeling for the strengths and weaknesses of the ways in which historians have explained great changes. No mania to find laws or principles of universal validity drives her. She is not afraid of detail. Her eye for the telling oddity, the crucial contradiction, in enviable.' Commonweal
'This is a good and important book … the author's clear and forceful style makes it a pleasure to read … Eisenstein is particularly illuminating and discriminating on the part played by the great sixteenth-century scholar-printers, such as the Estiennes, Oporinus, Plantin, in the emergence of ideals of religious tolerance and intellectual brotherhood … She does give us a remarkably complete and highly critical survey of modern historical writing on humanism, the Reformation and science up to the eighteenth century.' The New York Review of Books
'Her two volumes represent an extensive survey of the recent literature on the three intellectual and social movements of the period 1400–1700: the Italian Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. Ms. Eisenstein examines the major hypotheses as to their causes and progress, and reassesses them in terms of the impact of printing and its products.' The New Republic
The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, first published in 1980, is a full-scale historical treatment of the advent of printing and its importance as an agent of change. It examines the implications of the shift from script to print, and examines its part in the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of modern science.