About six years ago, I set out to write the book that I had been wanting to read ever since I started digging into the history of the technology industry back in the late 1990s: a character-driven narrative, accessible to non-technologists, that wove tech history into the longer sweep of America's postwar political and social transformations. Several iPhone generations, a couple of billion social media users, and many terabytes and petabytes of cloud data later, THE CODE is hitting the shelves at last (July 9! Mark your calendars in ink!). and I could not be more excited to bring this new history of Silicon Valley to the world.
Silicon Valley, both place and industry, is relentlessly future tense in its thinking, but my hope is that THE CODE will show readers how critical its history is to understanding the high-tech present--and determining where tech, both in the U.S. and around the world, might go next. As I write in the book's Introduction:
Silicon Valley is no longer merely a place in Northern California. It is a global network, a business sensibility, a cultural shorthand, a political hack. Hundreds of places around the world have rebranded themselves Silicon Deserts, Forests, Roundabouts, Steppes, and Wadis as they seek to capture some of the original’s magic. Its rhythms dictate how every other industry works, alter how humans communicate, learn, and collectively mobilize, upend power structures and reinforce many others. As one made-in-the-Valley billionaire, Marc Andreessen, put it a few years back, “software is eating the world.”
This book is about how we got to that world eaten by software. It’s the seven-decade-long tale of how one verdant little valley in California cracked the code for business success, repeatedly defying premature obituaries to spawn one generation of tech after another, becoming a place that so many others around the world have tried and failed to replicate. It also is a history of modern America: of political fracture and collective action, of extraordinary opportunity and suffocating prejudice, of shuttered factories and surging trading floors, of the marble halls of Washington and the concrete canyons of Wall Street. For these, as you shall see, were among the many things that made Silicon Valley possible, and that were remade by Silicon Valley in return.
While the Marvel Universe has cornered the market on summer blockbusters, I hope you can help me build buzz and early sales for THE CODE in the next few weeks before its release. Here's how you can help:
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