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Publisher's Summary

The history of technology you probably know is one of men and machines, garages and riches, alpha nerds and brogrammers. But the little-known fact is that female visionaries have always been at the vanguard of technology and innovation - they've just been erased from the story. Until now.

Women are not ancillary to the history of technology; they turn up at the very beginning of every important wave. But they've often been hidden in plain sight, their inventions and contributions touching our lives in ways we don't even realize.

VICE reporter and YACHT lead singer Claire L. Evans finally gives these unsung female heroes their due with her insightful social history of the Broad Band, the women who made the Internet what it is today. Learn from Ada Lovelace, the tortured, imaginative daughter of Lord Byron, who wove numbers into the first program for a mechanical computer in 1842. Seek inspiration from Grace Hopper, the tenacious mathematician who democratized computing by leading the charge for machine-independent programming languages after World War II. Meet Elizabeth "Jake" Feinler, the one-woman Google who kept the earliest version of the Internet online, and Stacy Horn, who ran one of the first-ever social networks on a shoestring out of her New York City apartment in the 1980s. Evans shows us how these women built and colored the technologies we can't imagine life without.

Join the ranks of the pioneers who defied social convention and the longest odds to become database poets, information-wranglers, hypertext dreamers, and glass ceiling-shattering dot com-era entrepreneurs. This inspiring call to action is a revelation: women have embraced technology from the start. It shines a light on the bright minds whom history forgot, and shows us how they will continue to shape our world in ways we can no longer ignore.

Welcome to the Broad Band. You're next.

©2018 Claire L. Evans (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-29-18

Inspiring

This is an interesting book about the history of women coders, engineers, mathematicians, entrepreneurs as well as visionaries who helped create and shape the internet. Evans even discusses Ada Lovelace, the mathematician daughter of Lord Byron.

The book is well written and researched. Evans is a journalist so the writing style is that of a journalist. Evans reviews the stories of women scientists such as the famous Grace Hopper, who worked on Harvard Mark One, to more recent women such as Stanford University scientist Elizabeth Feinler. She also includes programmer Brenda Laurel, a gamer entrepreneur. I found the story about Radia Perlman most interesting. Perlman invented a protocol for moving information to the way computers are networked. I had no idea so many women have achieved so much with so little recognition. I highly recommend this book.

The book is nine hours. The author narrated the book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jb
  • 03-12-18

Great book, though not as good as author thinks

If you could sum up Broad Band in three words, what would they be?

Good historical review

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Great to hear all the stories of how things started.

Any additional comments?

My only issue with this book is that it sounded like the author thought she was a great writer, and the wording and tonality detracted sometimes from the story/history. Given that, it was a fabulous book, and since I am 68 and a child of Silicon Valley history, it was wonderful to hear the women's side of the story. I heard an interview with her on NPR and bought the book, and it seemed like it was going to be another Hidden Figures movie, which I would have liked. But it is stories about the incredible women who did various parts of computer and Internet discovery over the last 50 years, which I did like! But, as I say, sometimes the author gets too involved in how well she thinks she can elocute.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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On the shoulders of Computers

Claire skillfully brought to light fascinating stories of truly revolutionary thinkers and experimentalists who, without me knowing it, improved my life and inspired my own cyber-creative journey. Listening was a joy and if you’re got to the point if reading this review, I know you will feel the same.

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Wonderful history full of surprises

Poetic language and well-told stories yield numerous affecting and interesting insights about how the history of computers and the internet shapes our world today. Wonderful work of history accessibly preserving important stories about the women who led the exploration of the tech that dominates our lives today.

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Loved This Book

This is a fantastic survey of computing history. If you have any interest in the internet, where it came from and why it matters you won’t be sorry you listened to this book.

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Should be required reading

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So many rich stories of the women pioneers of Tech.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-18

amazing insight into the women who shaped today

This book sheds much needed light on the womwn behind one of the most used forms of communication and self expression. Amazingly inspirational and well researched