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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2001
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2002
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.
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