New Books Network

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...

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 in 2013. Wheeler went from writing history to participating in it, making consequential decisions about net neutrality, cybersecurity, privacy, and the 5G mobile network.

Wheeler is a former President of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and former CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. He was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Cable Television Hall of Fame in 2009. After leaving the FCC at the end of President Obama’s second term, Wheeler finished his book, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future (Brookings Institution Press, 2019). He is currently a visiting fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Wheeler’s previous books include Leadership Lessons from the Civil War: Winning Strategies for Today’s Managers (Doubleday Business, 1999) and Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperBusiness, 2006).


Nathan Bierma is a writer, instructional designer, and voiceover talent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His website is www.nathanbierma.com.