Inventing the Internet (Inside Technology) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 33.80
  • List Price: CDN$ 35.32
  • You Save: CDN$ 1.52 (4%)
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Inventing the Internet has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Inventing the Internet Paperback – Jul 24 2000


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 33.80
CDN$ 22.06 CDN$ 17.82

Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (July 24 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262511150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262511155
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

History is written by winners, but Bill Gates isn't talking yet. Those interested in how this weird, wonderful World Wide Web--and its infrastructure--came to be should turn to historian Janet Abbate's look at 40 years of innovation in Inventing the Internet.

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.

From Publishers Weekly

The prehistory of the InternetAmeaning the period including Gopher and WAIS but before the World Wide WebAis often recounted among wonks but unknown to most others. Abbate, a history lecturer at the University of Maryland, traces the conversion of the ARPANET, a project of the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency created to allow scientists to run computers remotely, to the World Wide Web, an application created by a Swiss CERN physicist in the early 1990s for transmitting sound and pictures along with text, with a number of stages along the way. From the opening discussion of "packet switching," a major innovation in information exchange, Abbate makes it clear that "technical standards can be used as social and political instruments," and that hardware and software architecture is as much a product of social formations as the other way around. ARPANET was created at the height of the Cold War so that military communications could be maintained in the event of nuclear exchange, but the scientists who created it, in true Kuhnian fashion, used a loose set of ideas about end user-driven computing to overturn conventional wisdom. The book, firmly academic, has the feel of an extremely well-written doctoral dissertation and is thus unable to avoid being freighted with the acronyms and the inherent complexity of its subject. While most readers won't care about CCITT standards or how TCP/IP works, they will find themselves at least curious about the people who created them. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark on Nov. 10 2001
Format: Paperback
One should read Inventing the Internet to explore the thesis of technological determinism shaping the evolution of the Internet. After reading the book, the reader can also judge the success of Abbate's integral thesis that social determinism also shaped the evolution of the Internet. Janet Abbate is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland in College Park. She derived the book from her 1994 dissertation research undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania. The book was produced with six chapters, which she arranged in rough chronological order. Each chapter was then subdivided into topical sections. The book's details support Abbate's claim that the Internet was not born in a discrete originating event, but evolved over a twenty-year period through the convergence of technological advances and societal needs.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli on July 9 2002
Format: Hardcover
Janet Abbate exhaustively researched her scholarly history of the Internet and presents it with the detail and tone you would expect from a historian, which she is. Therefore, don't come looking for a breezy, "gee whiz" approach. This is not a promotional pat on the back to the companies that helped popularize the Internet, nor does it glorify dot-coms or any of their fearless leaders. In fact, Abbate devotes the first 75% of her book to the precursor to the public Internet - the ARPANET system used by scientists, researchers and the U.S. military. We recommend this book to all readers who want to know how the Internet really came into existence and how it evolved from a private, secret, scientific resource into today's vast realm of public information, auctions, virtual bookstores, e-mail and even getAbstract.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whereas Berners-Lee focuses on the inception of the Web in his Weaving The Web, Abbate explores the development and rise of the Internet itself. Against those who insist that technology itself is autonomously driven, Abbate argues that the Internet's identity as a communications system was determined through a series of social and political choices. Critically, the 'net wasn't a single isolated act of invention. Rather, the idea of the Internet is a story of its regular invention and reinvention. As we progress through the text it become apparent just how many social choices were made in the Internet's design and the path dependency that this has created. We see that what seemed to be relatively minor, or practical, decisions in the 1960s and 70s have had enormous impacts and act as the foundation for contemporary politics of Internet governance, surveillance possibilities, and property conflicts. The history of the Internet is rife with contributions from individuals and organizations, and is immersed in the conflicting politics of the academy, private businesses, private actors, and the nation state. When Abbate was writing the text ' in 2000 ' she concluded by arguing that the Internet's long-term survival would depend on its developers' capacities to draw on the legacies of adaptability and participatory design that were baked into the Internet. For those invested in contemporary political issues related to the Internet ' net neutrality, identity politics, security, privacy, governance ' this book is essential: it outlines what has gone before and why, and generally orients current conditions for political conflict over the Internet today.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
For how long have you been aware of the web? Five years? Six? Didn't it seem as though we woke up one morning and there it was? Not so, as you will find out when you read this fascinating account of the way in which Internet technology took on a life of its own and morphed into the gigantic marketplace/library/chatroom that we think of today.
For example, did you know that the techniques used in the Internet were born out of Cold War paranoia? Or that email was an afterthought to the original system that unexpectedly became the most popular application of the network? Or that in the early 1980s, the military agency running the Internet was so afraid of hackers breaking into the system ("unauthorized penetrations," as one army major put it) that they split the network in two, one for the military and one for the civilians? Read the book for the details on these and other intriguing techno-tidbits.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book about the history of the Internet and how it came to be. It is very detailed (from both technical and socio-cultural angles) and should be taken as a scholarly read. The importance of the Internet to our society should not be understated, and its significance only grows more every day. It is therefore crucial that users of the Internet (and other life-altering technologies) have a deep understanding about how the technology came into existence, and how it continues to be shaped. Inventing the Internet is the perfect book to help us achieve this understanding. If you use the Internet regularly, then this book is for you.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By A Customer on Feb. 8 2000
Format: Hardcover
If we don't know where we've been, how will we know where we're going? It's somehow reassuring to learn that a technology which seems to be so new and to change at lightning speed actually has a history spanning several decades. This book is intelligently written; it's not for the reader who is looking merely for fluff and sound bites. I've recommend it to many friends in a variety of fields since internet technology, and the decisions that have been made about it, affect us all in one way or another.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.


Feedback