The Innovators

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The Innovators: How A Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson is the technology book you must read. Why? Because the very first chapter is about a woman, and that’s how you know it’s going to be good. By the way, that woman is Ada Lovelace whose contributions to the digital revolution began one hundred years before it even started.

The Innovators is as much about the creation of the computer and of the Internet as it is about the individuals who made them. Just who are these people? Some of them you already know, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; others you may be less familiar with, such as Alan Turing, Vannevar Bush, Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page, Robert Noyce, John von Neumann, and J.C.R. Licklider, to name a few.

“What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? Why did some succeed and others fail? This is the story of how their minds worked, what made them so inventive, and how, through mastering the art of teamwork, they created a new world.”

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At well over 400 pages, I would not think, at first, that this would be the book for me. While I do read a lot of nonfiction, books on the history of computing would ordinarily not be at the top of my TBR list. But as this book was a requirement for a class, I did read it thoroughly and was surprised at just how much I did enjoy it. The history of the computer and the digital revolution is equally as much about the facts as it is about the people, and in this book, Isaacson profiled these people in the most fascinating ways that made me eager to continue reading. If you have some time, this was really an astounding book to read, and will remain in my collection for reference even after I graduate.

 

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