The longest Amazon review at the time of this writing, by Armando Fox, insists from its title that this book is for a "niche audience," but - perhaps I'm just severely out of touch - the most surprising bit of the experience was just how diverse and widely-applicable Word Processing history was/is. Like Armando, I would also call myself "an aficionado of both computing history and the history of the written and printed word," but I believe the relevance to the latter of these subjects should extend Track Changes' audience far beyond what one would first assume. "Does word processing belong to the history of writing or the history of computing? The answer is not obvious," notes Kirschenbaum in his Preface. I believe those interested in either should consider it required reading.

To those like myself who are particularly interested in word processors and their history, I say buy this book immediately as a given. I can't remember the last time I was so elated to have found such a book, largely out of relief, for I was beginning to think I would have to write it myself.

The volume of published reviews of this book - and the diversity of the publications that carried them - will surprise you. I set out to gather them all in one space, and found the task quite huge.

There is some drudgery, yes - extensive details on IBM's interworkings in the 1970s, perhaps - but Kirschenbaum does an excellent job at being thorough without inappropriate tedium. To call it dull would be a critique of the story, itself, rather than his writing.

Very nicely done niche book for niche audience