From Library Journal
FDR's director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II, a gifted mathematician and engineer, a prophet of the Manhattan Project and the Internet, a founder of the Raytheon Company, soul of the modern organization man?Vannevar Bush firmly established and maintained the seminal linchpin between the resources of the civilian scientific community and the needs of an ever-hungry military backed by the largesse of the federal government. Zachary, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, labors extensively to reconstruct the prodigious life of this "patron saint of American science, 'one of the most important men in America,'" in light of the puzzling truth that his subject is virtually forgotten today. Cloyingly praiseful, Zachary uses extensive detail to create an apotheosis of a hero who brought science and the centralized organization to bear on winning the war and establishing the modern public-private partnership. With over 70 pages of end notes, bibliography, abbreviations, and index; recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Robert C. Ballou, Atlanta
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bush's seminal essay "As We May Think," which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly
in 1945, may seem quaint today, but not too long ago it was required reading for budding library and information scientists. In it Bush envisioned automated information retrieval and a complex device called the Memex, and for that he has gained a place in history. Zachary is a Wall Street Journal
reporter and author of Show-Stopper
(1994), an account of Microsoft's efforts to create Windows NT. He has been researching Bush's life for more than 10 years, and his effort has paid off here. Zachary calls Bush "the most politically powerful inventor since Benjamin Franklin." He documents Bush's many inventions and patents and his contributions at MIT and the Carnegie Institution. He details Bush's roles with the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development, where Bush helped create what has become known as the military-industrial complex by heading the research effort that united science with the military and helped win World War II. David Rouse