Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on May 30, 2012
The authors described the complex interplay of personalities involved in the process of creating the transistor. The inventors (William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain) worked together the following ways:
1. Bardeen was a deep thinker, and seldom spoke. Whenever he did say something, EVERYONE LISTENED.
2. Brattain was a very "hands on" person and he was resourceful about creating experiments that would further develop Bardeen's concepts.
3. Shockley was the visionary, who understood the vast commercial potential for the transistor.
I enjoyed visualizing the juxtaposition of these personalities with those from another book: "The Man Behind the Microchip", by Leslie Berlin. In this case the major personalities were: Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove. Like Shockley, Noyce was a visionary, but they had polar opposite personalities. Shockley took credit for every one else's work whereas Noyce always gave others the full recognition they deserved. Everyone hated Shockley and everyone loved Noyce.
Other books that tell similar stories, for different time frames are:
1. "The Invention That Changed the World", by Robert Buderi
2. "The Idea Factory", by Jon Gertner