Well researched and comprehensive history of the invention and development of the modern transistor which led to the creation of the semiconductor industry and the computer age. Focus is on the unique environment at Bell Labs immediately before, during, and after WWII, which supported and fostered both pure and applied research. The book paints a balanced, but largely unflattering, picture of William Shockley - one of the three Bell Labs scientists who won the Noble Prize in physics for the invention of the transistor. John Bardeen, who shared the prize, and later won another for his work on superconductivity at the University of Illinois, comes off much better. This book may contain far too much technical detail for the average reader, but it does a very good job of explaining how this technology evolved, spurred the formation of many companies that are now household names, and eventually migrated from Bell Labs in New Jersey, to Silicon Valley in California.
An excellent account of the development of the search technology that transformed the internet into our primary research and marketing platform. At times this account gets into the geek weeds, but only to provide a meaningful explanation for why things turned out as they did. Not a history of Google, but of necessity it is heavily focused on Google. The descriptions of the key players, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, appear balanced and carefully researched or based on personal knowledge of the author.
Interesting description of the early days of the Chicago stock yards, union organizing, and associated politics. Degenerates into a socialist screed by the end, but The Jungle is essential reading for the serious social and/or political thinker or activist.
A good account of the early days of the New England colonies with a focus on the descendants of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower and their subsequent interactions with the indigenous Indian tribes. Title is misleading. Should have been titled King Phillip's War, one of the bloodiest wars in American history, since that is its focus. Book is balanced and paints an equally honest, and often unflattering, portrait of some of the Pilgrim and Indian leaders of the time.
Good primer on mediation from the Harvard Negotiation Project. The book makes the case for "principled" negotiation that looks to interests and agreed principles rather than bargaining from "positions". This updated edition helpfully addresses some of the stickier issues in mediation, e.g., negotiating with someone who doesn't share your values, disparities in bargaining power, etc. A good resource.
History of Charles Goodyear's invention of vulcanized rubber, including his rivalry with Thomas Hancock of the McIntosh company in England. Hancock reverse engineered the invention after receiving samples of Goodyear's rubber and was the first to file for a patent on the invention in England, thereby depriving Goodyear of the profits from the invention in England and Europe. A little drawn out and mellow dramatic with respect to Goodyear's many visits to debtors' prison, his long suffering wife, etc. One comes away with the impression that Goodyear was a plodder rather than a genius, although I don't think that is necessarily the author's view, and a terrible business man. Little or no meaningful description of the science of the invention. The highlight of the book for me (I am a trial lawyer) was the description the patent trial against Horace Day, in which Goodyear was represented by Daniel Webster, and Day was represented by Rufus Choate.
Who knew the Knicks' and Mets' blue and orange colors originated with the flag of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands? A very well-reached and entertaining telling of the history of the Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam. Bottom line, the Dutch were a lot more fun than the Puritans, and have a lot more in common with modern Americans too.
Good period piece to help remember (for those enough old enough to have been there) or discover what the social activism of 1960's was all about. The dawn of political correctness.
Unabridged, repetitive and unending! A few good concepts dragged out for 27 hours. I only listen to unabridged audio books to assuage my guilt about not having time to read the real things. However, I can't believe this is just a reading of the book - 27 hours?! - the book is not that long - I've seen it. This is an unabridged "audio production," which apparently means talk until your audience falls asleep at the wheel.
Over hyped, but I guess these guys foreshadowed the hippies of the ‘60’s. Some powerful descriptions of America interspersed with a rambling narrative of pointless road trips heavy on sexual exploits. Women are one dimensional second class citizens. Neal Cassidy? Is he supposed to be a hero or a victim? He’s neither. Other than having a heightened sensitivity to, and appreciation of, the world around him, he’s a total loser.
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