In "The Knowledge Web," James Burke, the bestselling author and host of television's "Connections" series, takes us on a fascinating tour through the interlocking threads of knowledge running through Western history. Displaying mesmerizing flights of fancy, he shows how seemingly unrelated ideas and innovations bounce off one another, spinning a vast, interactive web on which everything is connected to everything else: "Carmen" leads to the theory of relativity, champagne bottling links to wallpaper design, Joan of Arc connects through vaudeville to Buffalo Bill. Illustrating his open, connective theme in the form of a journey across the web, Burke breaks down complex concepts, offering information in a manner accessible to anybody -- high school graduates and Ph.D. holders alike. The journey touches more than one hundred interlinked points in the history of knowledge, ultimately ending where it began. Gateways, set at various points in the narrative, allow readers to jump through literary hyperspace to other different but related concepts throughout the book. At once amusing and instructing, "The Knowledge Web" heightens our awareness of our interdependence -- with one another and with the past. Taking Burke's webbed approach to knowledge is one way that we can manage our information overload as we approach the ever-more-complex world that awaits us in the twenty-first century. Only by understanding the interrelated nature of the modern world can we hope to identify complex patterns of change and direct the process of innovation to the common good.