There’s no question that e-mail is an incredible phenomenon that represents a kind of cultural and technological advancement. The first e-mail was sent less than forty years ago; by 2011, there will be 3.2 billion e-mail users. The average corporate worker now receives upwards of two hundred e-mails per day. The flood of messages is ceaseless and follows us everywhere.
In The Tyranny of E-mail, John Freeman takes an entertaining look at the unrelenting nature of correspondence through the ages. Put down your smart phone and consider the consequences. As the toll of e-mail mounts, reducing our time for leisure and contemplation and separating us in an unending and lonely battle with the overfull inbox, John Freeman—one of America’s preeminent literary critics—enters a plea for communication that is more selective and nuanced and, above all, more sociable.