- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (7 October 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 147670869X
- ISBN-13: 978-1476708690
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
- Customer Reviews: 1,183 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Hardcover, Large Print, Import
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
“[A] sweeping and surprisingly tenderhearted history of the digital age . . . absorbing and valuable, and Isaacson’s outsize narrative talents are on full display. Few authors are more adept at translating technical jargon into graceful prose, or at illustrating how hubris and greed can cause geniuses to lose their way. . . . The book evinces a genuine affection for its subjects that makes it tough to resist . . . his book is thus most memorable not for its intricate accounts of astounding breakthroughs and the business dramas that followed, but rather for the quieter moments in which we realize that most primal drive for innovators is a need to feel childlike joy.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The Innovators . . . is riveting, propulsive and at times deeply moving. . . . One of Isaacson’s jealousy-provoking gifts is his ability to translate complicated science into English—those who have read his biographies of Einstein and Steve Jobs understand that Isaacson is a kind of walking Rosetta Stone of physics and computer programming. . . . The Innovators is one of the most organically optimistic books I think I've ever read. It is a stirring reminder of what Americans are capable of doing when they think big, risk failure, and work together.”
(Jeffrey Goldberg The Atlantic)
“A sprawling companion to his best-selling Steve Jobs . . . this kaleidoscopic narrative serves to explain the stepwise development of 10 core innovations of the digital age — from mathematical logic to transistors, video games and the Web — as well as to illustrate the exemplary traits of their makers. . . . Isaacson unequivocally demonstrates the power of collaborative labor and the interplay between companies and their broader ecosystems. . . . The Innovators is the most accessible and comprehensive history of its kind. (The Washington Post)
“Walter Isaacson has written an inspiring book about genius, this time explaining how creativity and success come from collaboration. The Innovators is a fascinating history of the digital revolution, including the critical but often forgotten role women played from the beginning. It offers truly valuable lessons in how to work together to achieve great results.” (Sheryl Sandberg)
“Isaacson provides a sweeping and scintillating narrative of the inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs who have given the world computers and the Internet. . . . a near-perfect marriage of author and subject . . . an informative and accessible account of the translation of computers, programming, transistors, micro-processors, the Internet, software, PCs, the World Wide Web and search engines from idea into reality. . . . [a] masterful book.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“A panoramic history of technological revolution . . . a sweeping, thrilling tale. . . . Throughout his action-packed story, Isaacson . . . offers vivid portraits—many based on firsthand interviews—[and] weaves prodigious research and deftly crafted anecdotes into a vigorous, gripping narrative about the visionaries whose imaginations and zeal continue to transform our lives.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“A remarkable overview of the history of computers from the man who brought us biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger . . . Isaacson manages to bring together the entire universe of computing, from the first digitized loom to the web, presented in a very accessible manner that often reads like a thriller.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Anyone who uses a computer in any of its contemporary shapes or who has an interest in modern history will enjoy this book.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“The history of the computer as told through this fascinating book is not the story of great leaps forward but rather one of halting progress. Journalist and Aspen Institute CEO Isaacson (Steve Jobs) presents an episodic survey of advances in computing and the people who made them, from 19th-century digital prophet Ada Lovelace to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. . . . Isaacson’s absorbing study shows that technological progress is a team sport, and that there’s no I in computer.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Isaacson succeeds in telling an accessible tale tailored to a general interest audience. He avoids the overhyped quicksand that swallows many technology writers as they miscast tiny incremental advances as ‘revolutionary.’ Instead Isaacson focuses on the evolutionary nature of progress. The Innovators succeeds in large part because Isaacson repeatedly shows how these visionaries, through design or dumb luck, were able to build and improve on the accomplishments of previous generations.” (Miami Herald)
About the Author
Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Facebook: Walter Isaacson, Twitter: @WalterIsaacson
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Being an electronics engineer and a technology fan, it would be wrong to say that the infomation in this book is new. Most of the information can be found by Google searches and wiki pages but this book does a great job of arranging the facts and stories in a linear sequence of events under major innovations.
While reading this book you can actually see (imagine) a complex thing like today's computer industry being built layer by layer in front of you. You realise how the things that you take for granted everyday came to be and how the fundamentals of computers have remained unchanged for so many years.
The underlying theme of the book that innovation is finally a team effort whether people are in the same team or spread out across the world is brought out superbly in this book.
If you are a student or a person interested in the foundatons of the computer industry, I would highly recommend this book.
Walter Isaacson does a great job (once more) bringing together history, reality, lessons and his great writing style into a single master piece thats a walk-through into history and developments of digital age, along the way bringing together great lessons to be drawn from the stories of great Visionaries , Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Leaders and what characters/traits made them Innovators to change and disrupt our world towards betterment.
Currently I am reading this, and realizing that, the computer revolution was and still is ,so evolutionary in nature, where small incremental changes, bring about huge,monumental and ground breaking transformation in human life and society.
Page count - 543
This is another great work of Walter Isaacson. The book starts with Ada Byron and her notes on the Babbage analytical engine and then travels through he highs and lows of all technological marvels and the building of the internet to personal computers and then the emergence of giant companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google. The pages contain detailed timeline maps and pictures of legends. A must buy if you are even thinking about it.
P. S. - Amazon please step up your packaging game. It's embarrassing to receive a gem of a book like this in your flimsy bubble wrap plastic bag. There is no thought of protecting the product. Please do something about it.
Only he could have written such a book.
It was truly special to read it.
The book has a permanent place in my collection.
Top international reviews
My one gripe with the narrative is that it does get a little repetitive at times from a format perspective (new tech -> innovator -> childhood and growing up -> what led to the innovation etc) but that can hardly be avoided in a book of this nature.
The fact that he starts from Ada Lovelace and Babbage and takes us all the way through to the present day in one book is really incredible.
Well worth a read.
P.S. The section on Wiki’s also encouraged me to write this review and contribute, very convincing!
The story left out is that of the first commercial electronic computer - LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) which was launched in 1951 by the British food and catering company Lyons.
It would have been easy to start from the war years and focus on most people's perception of the key players, but Isaacson takes the reader back to Ada Lovelace and the very earliest concepts of computing.
If you spent your early years coding in C or BASIC or anything similar you'll particularly relate to certain parts of the book. But even if not, you will probably appreciate the over view of how we have equipped ourselves with amazing technology in such a relatively short time. The story of the players involved is a compelling one.