The Idea Factory

The Idea Factory

Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

Format
ePub
Price
$13.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101561089
  • 432 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

The definitive history of America’s greatest incubator of technological innovation
 
In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT&T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular elephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner’s riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago.

Praise

“Riveting . . . Mr. Gertner’s portraits of Kelly and the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries and inventions utterly comprehensible—indeed, thrilling—to the lay reader. And they showcase, too, his novelistic sense of character and intuitive understanding of the odd ways in which clashing or compatible personalities can combine to foster intensely creative collaborations.”

– Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“One of the best innovation-focused books I’ve read: It’s a wide-ranging, detailed, and deeply fascinating look at the New Jersey lab which has been churning out useful discoveries since the early 1900s.”
The Boston Globe
“Compelling . . . Gertner’s book offers fascinating evidence for those seeking to understand how a society should best invest its research resources.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Filled with colorful characters and inspiring lessons . . . The Idea Factory explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation?”
– Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review
“Fascinating history . . . the research behind The Idea Factory is astonishing.”
Slate Book Review
“An expansive new history . . . does an impressive job of illuminating many of Bell Labs’ key technological triumphs.”
– Wired.com
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