The Dream Machine


Product Details

$20.00  $18.60
Stripe Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 2.38 pounds

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About the Author

M. Mitchell Waldrop is a freelance writer and editor. He earned a masters in journalism and a PhD in elementary particle physics at the University of Wisconsin. He was previously a writer and West Coast bureau chief for Chemical and Engineering News, senior writer at Science, editorial page and features editor at Nature, and worked in media affairs for the National Science Foundation. He is also the author of Man-Made Minds (Walker, 1987), a book about artificial intelligence, and Complexity (Simon & Schuster, 1992), a book about the Santa Fe Institute and the new sciences of complexity. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Amy E. Friedlander.


"When people ask me about Xerox Parc, I always tell them
about J. C. R. Licklider "Lick" and how he formed the ARPA Information Processing
Techniques Office in 1962 and started the great research funding for interactive
computing and pervasive worldwide networks that has resulted in most of the
technology we use today: both via the inventions of the eventually 16 or so
ARPA projects at various universities and think tanks, and by creating the next
generations of computing researchers, many of whom became the founders and
mainstays of Xerox Parc. The top book I recommend to read about this large
process that stretched over 20 years is The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell
Waldrop. It is the most accurate, has the most detail, and has the best
organization and writing. He is able to admirably catch many of the most
important parts of both the history and the spirit of the many headed research
and engineering processes that together created our interactive networked
information world.

--Alan Kay, computer scientist and A.M. Turing Award recipient

"The Dream Machine works admirably as an
exploration of the intellectual and political roots of the rise of modern
computing. It's an ambitious and worthwhile addition to the history of science.

--San Francisco Chronicle

A masterpiece! A mesmerizing but balanced and
comprehensive look at the making of the information revolution the people, the
ideas, the tensions, and the hurdles. And on top of that, it is beautifully written.

--John Seely Brown, former director of Xerox PARC, coauthor of The Social Life
of Information

"A sprawling history of the ideas, individuals, and groups of
people that got us from punch cards to personal computers... comprehensive... impressive...
[and] compelling."

--The New York Times Book Review

"The story is fascinating, played out in
almost 500 pages of engrossing politics, personalities, and passions. This is
not a casual read--but for those who want the whole story, well told, it is a
very good one."


"A sweeping
history of personal computing, made vivid by rich detail."

--The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A well-reported story
about the overwhelming power of vision and tenacity."

--USA Today

"An informative and engaging history."

--Library Journal