New Books Network

Tom Wheeler, “From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future” (Brookings, 2019)
It’s easy to get sidetracked while writing a book. But imagine being interrupted by the President of the United States. That happened to Tom Wheeler, who was in the midst of writing a history of communication networks when President Obama appointed him to be chairman of the Federal Communications Commission... Read More
Kartik Hosanagar, “A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives” (Viking, 2019)
Our guest today is Kartik Hosanagar, the author of A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control (Viking, 2019). This is one of those rare books that I think everyone can read and I think everyone should read. In... Read More
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