Dealers of Lightning

  • by Michael Hiltzik
  • Narrated by Forrest Sawyer
  • 6 hrs and 0 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Dealers of Lightning is the riveting story of the legendary Xerox PARC - a collection of eccentric young inventors brought together by Xerox Corporation at a facility in Palo Alto, California, during the mind-blowing intellectual ferment of the '70s and '80s. Here for the first time is revealed in piercing detail the true story of the extraordinary group that aimed to bring about a technological dawn that would change the world - and succeeded.Based on extensive interviews with scientists, engineers, administrators, and corporate executives who lived the story, Dealers of Lightning takes the listener on a journey from PARC's beginnings in a dusty, abandoned building at the edge of the Stanford University campus to its triumph as a hothouse of ideas that spawned not only the first personal computer, but the windows-style graphical user interface, the laser printer, much of the indispensable technology of the Internet, and a great deal more. It shows how and why Xerox, despite its willingness to grant PARC unlimited funding and the responsibility for developing breakthroughs to keep the corporation on the cutting edge of office technology, remained forever unable to grasp (and, consequently, exploit) the innovations that PARC delivered, and details the increasing frustration of the original PARC scientists, many of whom would go on to build their fortunes upon the very ideas Xerox so rashly discarded.

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What the Critics Say

"...for any student of business or technology, Dealers of Lightning offers a gem of a story that has never before been so well told." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

the jurassic age of computing

xerox parc was the fertile crescent of modern computing gadgetry. everything we use today seems to have roots going back to that time and that place. this is an enthralling book for students of technology. well worth a look!
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- Colin

Audio quality is bad, story is awe inducing

You'll need to power through the terrible audio quality, but I found it well worth it to gain a glimpse into PARC.
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- David Phillips

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: HarperAudio