Peeking behind the curtain to show the personalities and larger forces guiding the development of the Net, from its dawn as a robust military communications network designed to survive multiple attacks to today's commercial Web explosion, Abbate succeeds in demystifying this all-pervasive technology and its creators.
Abbate's survey covers everything from David Baran's work with the RAND corporation to the development of packet-switching theory to CERN's Tim Berners-Lee and his hypertext networking system. She also factors in the influences that caused the Net to evolve such as the Cold War, changing research priorities, and the hacker subculture that pushed existing technologies into new forms, each more and more like today's fast, global communications system.
The research is impeccable, the writing is lively, and the analysis is insightful. (See especially the discussion of the "surprise hit" of ARPANET, a minor function known as e-mail.) Abbate clearly knows her subject and her audience, and Inventing the Internet encapsulates a milestone of modern history. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The reviewer from "Flagpole" is obviously a disgruntled former student of Ms. Abbate's. Perhaps he flunked a midterm or wrote a lousy paper. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2001
What makes some new technologies (like the net) widely adopted successes, and others (like the futuristic Paris subway system Bruno Latour describes in *Aramis*) flops? Read morePublished on July 4 2000
A thoughtful, well-researched and well-written account of the history of the Internet. Required reading for anyone interested in where this technology came from and why.Published on Dec 26 1999
*inventing the internet* is an impressively sound treatment of a 'hot' topic, and abbate manages to provide thorough anaylsis and original research without giving into the hype. Read morePublished on Nov. 20 1999