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An intimate, gloriously written look at the communications revolution and how it has opened up the world.
The Internet is the most remarkable achievement of mankind since the pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will look back at it and marvel that a people equipped with such clumsy tools succeeded in creating such a leviathan.
Yet even as the Net pervades our lives, we begin to take it for granted. Many have lost the capacity for wonder. Most of us have no idea where the Internet came from, how it works, or who created it and why. And even fewer have any idea of what it means for society and the future. A Brief History of the Future puts the Internet within the context of history. Although its subject seems technical, the book in fact is personal. John Naughton writes about the Net the way Nick Hornby writes about soccer. A Brief History of the Future is an intimate celebration of vision and altruism, ingenuity and determination, and above all of the power of ideas to change the world.
A Selection of the Library of Science Book Club
This is the best history of the Net (odd idea, I know) that I have seen. More than others, it places the events in a context that helps one understand why innovation happened. This book is important not only for looking backwards, but also for understanding what we must do to keep the Net as it is. Professor Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School
The world needs a history of the Internet that includes more than a U.S. perspective and places the Internet in a context from the early days of radio communication through the explosion of the World Wide Web. John Naughton s excellently-written A Brief History of the Future is that book. Buy it and read it. Dave Walden, Internet pioneer
John Naughton has been an academic and a journalist all his working life. He is a Senior Lecturer in Systems at the Open University and, since 1987, has written a weekly column for the Observer, which has won him several major awards including three nominations as Critic of the Year. He is also a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the Director of the College s Press Fellowship Program.