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“[F]illed with colorful characters and inspiring lessons...The Idea Factory explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation?”—Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review
“Riveting… Mr. Gertner’s portraits of Kelly and the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries and inventions utterly comprehensible — indeed, thrilling — to the lay reader. And they showcase, too, his novelistic sense of character and intuitive understanding of the odd ways in which clashing or compatible personalities can combine to foster intensely creative collaborations.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“One of the best innovation-focused books I've read: It's a wide-ranging, detailed, and deeply fascinating look at the New Jersey lab which has been churning out useful discoveries since the early 1900s.”—The Boston Globe
“Compelling… Gertner's book offers fascinating evidence for those seeking to understand how a society should best invest its research resources.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[F]ascinating history…the research behind The Idea Factory is astonishing.”—Slate Book Review
“[A]n expansive new history…does an impressive job of illuminating many of Bell Labs’ key technological triumphs.”—Wired.com
“Gertner provides a view of American research and development that will take engineers, scientists, and managers back to the golden age of invention in the U.S…. Gertner follows these odd and brilliant thinkers to the end of Bell Labs in the 1980s and to their own ends, providing readers with insight into management, creativity, and engineering that remain applicable today.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Remarkably well researched, lucidly written."—The Seattle Times
“Gertner handles the experimentation descriptions with elegance and clarity, while proving even more engaging with his profiles of leading Bell lights.”—Newark Star Ledger
"Gertner reveals the complicated humanity at work behind the scenes and provides unprecedented insight on some of history's most important scientific and technological advances. Packed with anecdotes and trivia and written in clear and compelling prose, this story of a cutting-edge and astonishingly robust intellectual era—and one not without its controversies and treachery—is immensely enjoyable.”—Kirkus
Jon Gertner grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey—just a few hundred yards away from Bell Labs. He has been a writer for the New York Times Magazine since 2004 and is currently an editor at Fast Company magazine. He lives in New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
Great book - learned more about 20th century accomplishments than any class. Well-written to boot.Published 18 hours ago by Jason, PA
Awesome book on the history of AT&T and their Bell Labs. Really enjoyed the stories and understanding more on the innovations they brought to society.
A must read!
Impressive story, not just about Bell labs, but also about the impact this group had on world wide technology!Published 1 month ago by Michael Diaz
Enjoyable history of communication science. I knew of many of the inventions from my study of spectroscopy, but hadn't realized the inventors were from an amazing era at Bell Labs.Published 1 month ago by Dietrich J. Kappe
Superb accounting of research and development and world changing technologies that was conceived at well Labs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This book helped me to fully appreciate the fundamental role that AT&T and Bell Labs played in the development of the connected world that surrounds us. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. David Evans
Very easy interesting glimpse into the development of critical brain mass , its value, challenges and pitfalls. Read morePublished 2 months ago by john rush