Accidental Empires
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Accidental Empires : How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Don't Get a Date

By (author) Robert X. Cringely

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Computer manufacturing is--after cars, energy production and illegal drugs--the largest industry in the world, and it's one of the last great success stories in American business. Accidental Empires is the trenchant, vastly readable history of that industry, focusing as much on the astoundingly odd personalities at its core--Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, etc. and the hacker culture they spawned as it does on the remarkable technology they created. Cringely reveals the manias and foibles of these men (they are always men) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have shaped the computer business. But Cringely gives us much more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the birth of the transistor to the mid-life crisis of the computer industry, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that is at once uproarious, shocking and inspiring.

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  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 340.19g
  • 31 Oct 1996
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0887308554
  • 9780887308550
  • 171,399

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Review quote

"The title is an inspiration, and Cringely's whimsical, matter of fact style--an attribute altogether missing in the urgent, go-go lifestyles of the people he writes about--makes the book itself worth reading. It has a sense of perspective most books about the high-tech priesthood sorely lack."-- "USA Today""A wonderfully readable, acerbic and funny tale of America's most important industry'"-- Tom Peters"Cringely writes in a tone that's part "Spy Magazine, " part "Newsweek, " and part "The Wonder Years.""-- "Los Angeles Times""An epic tale. The best book on the subject so far."-- "New York Daily News""A fascinating book . . . well worth the time."-- "Sacramento Bee"As compelling and entertaining read as "Barbarians at the Gate."-- Roger von Oech

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Back cover copy

Computer manufacturing is-- after cars, energy production and illegal drugs-- the largest industry in the world, and it's one of the last great success stories in American business. "Accidental Empires" is the trenchant, vastly readable history of that industry, focusing as much on the astoundingly odd personalities at its core-- Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, etc. and the hacker culture they spawned as it does on the remarkable technology they created. Cringely reveals the manias and foibles of these men (they are always men) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have shaped the computer business. But Cringely gives us much more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the birth of the transistor to the mid-life crisis of the computer industry, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that is at once uproarious, shocking and inspiring.

show more