Joy Lisi Rankin, “A People’s History of Computing in the United States” (Harvard UP, 2018)
We know, perhaps too well, the innovation-centric history of personal computing. Yet, computer users were not necessarily microelectronics consumers from the get-go; rather, earlier efforts to expand mainframe computing as a public utility made elite information technology accessible to a wide audience. In A People’s History of Computing in the... Read More
Adrienne Mayor, “Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology” (Princeton UP, 2018)
The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by the MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek... Read More
Jan English-Lueck, “Cultures@SiliconValley: Second Edition” (Stanford UP, 2017)
Silicon Valley is understood to be one of the most fast-paced regions on earth, where innovation and upheaval are part and parcel of daily life. Imagine the challenge, then, when it’s your job to document and analyze the complex, intersecting, ever-changing cultures that comprise this famous region. In 2002, Dr.... Read More
Megan Finn, “Documenting Aftermath: Information Infrastructures in the Wake of Disasters” (MIT Press, 2018)
Megan Finn‘s Documenting Aftermath: Information Infrastructures in the Wake of Disasters (MIT Press, 2018) is a fascinating examination of how information infrastructures shape the ways that survivors and observers know and learn about disasters.  Finn uses three historical case studies – major earthquakes in Northern California in 1868, 1906, and... Read More
A. G. Holloway and J. W. White, “Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War” (Kent State UP, 2018)
Jonathan W. White, an associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, is the co-author of “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (Kent State University Press, 2018). Ever since their famous naval encounter in 1862, the Monitor and Merrimack (a.k.a., C.S.S. Virginia) have been part of... Read More
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