• A Mind at Play

  • How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age
  • By: Rob Goodman, Jimmy Soni
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-18-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (269 ratings)

Regular price: $31.49

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Publisher's Summary

Claude Shannon was a tinkerer, a playful wunderkind, a groundbreaking polymath, and a digital pioneer whose insights made the Information Age possible. He constructed fire-breathing trumpets and customized unicycles, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots, but he also wrote the seminal text of the Digital Revolution. That work allowed scientists to measure and manipulate information as objectively as any physical object. His work gave mathematicians and engineers the tools to bring that world to pass.
Now, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman bring Claude Shannon's story to life. It's the story of a small-town boy from Michigan whose career stretched from the age of room-sized computers powered by gears and string to the age of the Apple desktop. It's the story of the origins of information in the tunnels of MIT and the "idea factory" of Bell Labs, in the "scientists' war" with Nazi Germany, and in the work of Shannon's collaborators and rivals. It's the story of Shannon's life as an often reclusive, always playful genius. With access to Shannon's family and friends, A Mind at Play explores the life and times of this singular innovator and creative genius.
©2017 Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Lucid and fascinating...Soni and Goodman open an engrossing window onto what a mind hard at work can do." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Pinot on 05-21-18

Book is fine. Reader is annoyiing

I was really distracted from the story of Claude Shannon, which I wanted to enjoy, by the overly dramatic narration. The reader is an annoying combination of Mason Adams and Casey Kasem and reads like it is aimed at third graders. It is suitable for voice over a TV program or radio drama but not for a non-fiction book. Just read it! I will avoid this narrator in the future. The style is fine for fiction, not non-fiction.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Bonny on 05-08-18

I wanted more information about Information Theory

I hate to give a book about Claude Shannon an average rating, but it's only because the book is about the interesting genius that I can even muster three stars. It seems as if the authors felt they didn't have enough information, so they resort to listing many of his fellow grade school students and writing too much about his parents, with little about Shannon's relationships with these people. There was so much more valuable information they could have included; he was much more than his interests in juggling and unicycle riding.

The authors tell us that Mr. Shannon was a genius, and I don't disagree with that at all, but I really wish that they had explained why. I know just a little bit about information theory, but explanations about Shannon's work and momentous contributions are almost absent from this book. Claude Shannon is a person that most people have never heard of, yet his ideas, research, and work play a part in the daily lives of most of us. A well-written book that gives us a better understanding of Claude Shannon the man along with a clear and thorough explanation of his information theory for those of us who are not mathematicians is sorely needed, but sadly, A Mind at Play was not that book for me.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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