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Publisher's Summary

Tech guru Brian McCullough delivers a rollicking history of the Internet, why it exploded, and how it changed everything.

The Internet was never intended for you, opines Brian McCullough in this lively narrative of an era that utterly transformed everything we thought we knew about technology. In How the Internet Happened, he chronicles the whole fascinating story for the first time, beginning in a dusty Illinois basement in 1993, when a group of college kids set off a once-in-an-epoch revolution with what would become the first "dotcom".

Depicting the lives of now-famous innovators like Netscape's Marc Andreessen and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, McCullough also reveals surprising quirks and unknown tales as he tracks both the technology and the culture around the Internet's rise. Cinematic in detail and unprecedented in scope, the result both enlightens and informs as it draws back the curtain on the new rhythm of disruption and innovation the Internet fostered, and helps to redefine an era that changed every part of our lives.

©2018 Brian McCullough (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A leisurely stroll around the history of the Web

I was there in Cham-bana (University of Illinois) in the early 90’s - and this is just as I remember it. Lots of extra little details too. Everything you ever wanted to know about how the Web got started - the deals, start-ups, phenomenal growth and eventual burst of the Dot-com bubble.

One little quirk - the number spoken at the beginning of each chapter is off by one. Or was it Zero based numbering on purpose? (Good one, then!)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I enjoyed the story, the narrator did a great job.

this is one of these books that makes you want to not put it down and during the course of the narrator telling the story I found myself pausing it and going to the internet and researching different persons spoke in the story. I could definitely see myself going back to the story and listening to it again and again and this is the first time I could honestly say that. highly recommend this historical history of how the internet evolved and although I experienced many of these things as it occurred I could look back in hindsight and have a greater appreciation.

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  • Admiralu
  • Camarillo, California United States
  • 01-04-19

Rise of the Internet- Excellent Narration


This was a fascinating trip down memory lane for those of us old enough to remember the beginning of the Internet. I remember using and loving Netscape Navigator, before Internet Explorer became dominant. It's all here, from the beginnings in academia to the adoption of the masses: AOL, Myspace, the dotcom bubble and Web 2.0. All the major players are profiled as well, from Marc Andreesen to Marc Zuckerman. Expertly told and if you love audio, beautifully narrated by Timothy Andres Pabon. This is a history everyone should read since it covers many of the sites and technologies often taken for granted. Highly enjoyable, I found it hard to put down.

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Best book I’ve heard in a while

I had the ultimate audible experience with this book. I found myself sitting in my car, at my destination, just sitting and listening. Very enjoyable.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

This book takes an engaging look at the growth of the internet age, filled with interesting facts and back stories. A very enjoyable and well-read book.

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Amazing book!!! Definitely recommend.

It made me feel like I was right there as history unfolded. Very detailed and interesting at the same time.

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Great history on the technology we use everyday

This has been a very interesting book to listen to. I found this because of the techmeme ride home podcast and I was not disappointed. I learned so much about how everything happened. I say it’s a must for people in the tech industry that were young when this early stuff happened so we can appreciate how we got to where we are today. Great book!

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Great for History Lover

I am not a tech person, but I love history. I think this was a good blend of the historical and tech. It kept the reader engaged in this modern history story.

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How It All Began

Solid, thoroughly researched, well written book! Brian successfully provides accurate historical context and has quite plausible explanation of how one Internet-related technology (or company) came to dominate during a given period of time, and how it then fell from seemingly unreachable heights. The book is full of details and smart insights into the very foundation of the Net, its evolution, and its possible future. Highly recommend the audio version, the narration is absolutely delightful!

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  • Texzen
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • 11-16-18

Concise Overview of Incredible History

Even treatment of key events and accomplishments of the history of the internet. To me, the importance of Facebook is overstated to a fanboy degree. Otherwise, a very enjoyable romp through this recent tech historical period.