The following errata apply to the first hardcover, paperback and electronic editions of The Book, published in 2016 by W. W. Norton. Factual errors are addressed here, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are not.
My thanks go to Fred Schreiber, Lawrence Silver, Richard Swearingen, and Daniel Woolf for pointing out these errors.
- Ammonium chloride would not have been used in solution to etch iron, although it was used to make stronger acids suitable for that purpose.
- Herodotus was Greek, not Roman. (Other references to Herodotus made throughout The Book specify this correctly.)
- Aramaic should not be characterised as a Persian language. Rather, some Persians spoke it or derivatives thereof.
- Warren G. Harding succeeded Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States on the 4th of March, 1921. Both the “Permanent Conference on Printing” and the “Committee on the Simplification of Paper Sizes” were established after that date, and so it would have been the Harding administration, not the Wilson administration, that established them.
- Herbert Hoover was Secretary of Commerce, not Secretary of State.
If you come across an error in any edition of The Book, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! I’d appreciate it very much, and I’d be very happy to acknowledge you in future editions.