Slightly off topic: Rails & redirects, etc.

As a relative newbie to HTTP as well as Rails, is there a good introduction to how, say, redirects, links, etc., are implemented from the perspective of clients and servers as well as how Rails does
things "on top of" HTTP?

The wiki article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_redirection , is a good start, I guess, but I want even more basic tutorial-like information. Even a basic book recommendation would be appreciated.

Ralph Shnelvar