"This book contributes significantly to our understanding of the current state of affairs in information technology and governance, while also making original contributions to our understanding of the evolution of business institutions across the long twentieth century. Drawing on substantial original research, Andrew L. Russell argues that processes for setting industry standards have embodied broadly felt (and often competing) values regarding American governance. ... In the process, we come to see how the current enthusiasm for open systems and standards fits in a larger story of American governance. The current situation is neither a radical break nor an idealized state, as much contemporary literature insists and celebrates. Rather, it is a refinement in the face of shifting economic conditions that reflects and draws on a persistent commitment to economic liberalism. This is an important point that will garner considerable attention from historians and contemporary business analysts."
Steven W. Usselman, Chair of the School of History, Technology and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Andrew L. Russell's book describes how we got to the twenty-first-century information society, the 'Open World', through focusing a standardization lens on the history of American communication and information technology as it evolved from the late nineteenth century. Russell's book is the first history of American communication and information technology to focus on standardization and its processes and implications. Understanding how standardization has evolved is critical to understanding our commercial world today, and Russell provides a key contribution by exploring its evolution in the realm of ICTs. ... a real contribution to the literature. He also adds to the field by showing that the notions and values of open standards, open systems, and the Open World have a long prehistory."
JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and Professor of Managerial Communication and Work and Organization Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
How did the idea of openness become the defining principle for the twenty-first-century Information Age? This book answers this question by looking at the history of information networks and paying close attention to the politics of standardization.