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The Code

Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
Lu par : Nan McNamara
Durée : 19 h et 11 min
Catégories : Anglais - History, American

Prix : 34,57 €

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Description

The true, behind-the-scenes history of the people who built Silicon Valley and shaped Big Tech in America 

Long before Margaret O'Mara became one of our most consequential historians of the American-led digital revolution, she worked in the White House of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the earliest days of the commercial Internet. There, she saw firsthand how deeply intertwined Silicon Valley was with the federal government - and always had been - and how shallow the common understanding of the secrets of the Valley's success actually was. Now, after almost five years of pioneering research, O'Mara has produced the definitive history of Silicon Valley for our time, the story of mavericks and visionaries, but also of powerful institutions creating the framework for innovation, from the Pentagon to Stanford University. It is also a story of a community that started off remarkably homogeneous and tight-knit and stayed that way, and whose belief in its own mythology has deepened into a collective hubris that has led to astonishing triumphs as well as devastating second-order effects.

Deploying a wonderfully rich and diverse cast of protagonists, from the justly famous to the unjustly obscure, across four generations of explosive growth in the Valley, from the '40s to the present, O'Mara has wrestled one of the most fateful developments in modern American history into magnificent narrative form. She is on the ground with all of the key tech companies, chronicling the evolution in their offerings through each successive era, and she has a profound fingertip feel for the politics of the sector and its relation to the larger cultural narrative about tech as it has evolved over the years. Perhaps most impressive, O'Mara has penetrated the inner kingdom of tech venture capital firms, the insular and still remarkably old-boy world that became the cockpit of American capitalism and the crucible for bringing technological innovation to market, or not. The transformation of big tech into the engine room of the American economy and the nexus of so many of our hopes and dreams - and, increasingly, our nightmares - can be understood, in Margaret O'Mara's masterful hands, as the story of one California valley. As her majestic history makes clear, its fate is the fate of us all. 

©2019 Margaret O'Mara (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critiques

“Puts a gloriously human face on the history of computing in the US...extraordinarily comprehensive...a must-read for anyone interested in how a one-horse town birthed a revolution that has shifted the course of modern civilization.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“In a field crowded with accounts of how the tech industry has developed, this work places the story of our techno-human transformation within a thoughtful Darwinian context. A necessary addition to both public and academic library collections, it will become a reference for how technology has influenced America.” (Library Journal)

“Entertaining and nuanced history.... Concerned technology users - which pretty much sums up all of us - will find much of interest here.” (Booklist, starred review)
 

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Philo
  • 21/07/2019

Among the better business histories I've heard

This is timely and useful. It does not bog down in any story or personality, and moves well across a wide canvas and all the disciplines that fit together to make this happen. I am deeply grateful for this work, and line by line, I'm please up by the author's felicity, in picking a good telling phrase or event to paint a very good overall picture. It is for a wide audience, and the only thing I would change, for my own tastes, would be a little more detail about particular finances and deals. It is more a personal and geographical and social history than a quantitative, sharp-penciled technical or deal-based one. But it gets all the broad strokes very well. It would be historically accurate to say that most of the pivotal and pioneering figures through a great deal of the earlier story were, for whatever reasons, Caucasian or increasingly, Asian males. She does not argue with this or distort it, but does seem anxious to inject various other people into the narrative who were, frankly, IMO, mainly bystanders or at best, helpmates at the (especially early) times. The roles were what they were, and some bright people just didn't have the doors open. As time passed, this did change though, as for example a woman became an early and effective evangelist for wide education on computer matters. But that is all in the ambit of the author's reasonable choices.

4 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa B
  • 27/10/2019

Excellent book covering almost every aspect of Silicon Valley history and culture right up to the present day

What a superb book!

There are a lot of Silicon Valley biographies and histories around and I’ve read several of them too but The Code does a truly excellent job of discussing a much wider variety of cultural and historical matter than just a regular “back in the old days it was an Apricot farm” type of thing.

Touching a broad variety of stories from Texas Instruments, to Al Gore, Newt Gingrich as well as the regular subjects like Steve “not an actual god” Jobs, The Mother of All Demos, Facebook, Bill Gates, Xerox Parc and so on.

It’s quite awesome how comprehensive this book is; so much so it should be required reading/listening for Computer Science 101 courses if it’s not already.

What an unexpected joy this was!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexandra Colley
  • 28/09/2019

Fascinating and approachable history lesson

I really enjoyed this book and I feel like I learned a lot about Silicon Valley and the way politics and economics influence how we interact with tech today. I also found it very easy to follow and approachable. It's packed with information but also weaves interesting stories and characters throughout the book. And it was very fun to hear more about the early internet (Napster, aol messenger, early Facebook). I really appreciated that the author addresses sexism in the tech industry. I would recommend this book to anyone!!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert ONeill
  • 18/08/2019

NEW TESTAMENT FOR TECHNOLOGY

Exhaustive comprehensive job of encapsulating all significant events in the tech revolution of the past generation leading up to this moment...wait, this moment...I have lived through many of these events and read countless books on the topic. This work supersedes them all with TERABYTES of new information and insights into past and future trends. A timeline for my wall would complete this awesome package.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Klein
  • 01/08/2019

That's for the memories!

I grew in it the 60's, left high school in the late 70's, and was an early adopter of many of the hardware, software and services you discusses. Many of the stories I had heard or first hand experienced over the years. Must admit the idea of spinning the stories into stand alone vinyets was a lot of fun. Then using each thread to provide prehistory and context between each thread provided a rich story. Did enjoy the discussion of the government funding to start innovation and technologies which the participants spun the each out to businesses. Unfortunately we no longer have inexpensive schools, the funding by the Atari Democrats and Republican in no long term visionary, and the US population is no longer creating, only consuming. Unless things change soon, US innovation ecosystem will fade to black.

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