From Silk to Silicon

  • by Jeffrey E. Garten
  • Narrated by Tom Perkins
  • 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Silk to Silicon tells the story of who these men and women were, what they did, how they did it, and how their achievements continue to shape our world today. They include:


Genghis Khan, who united east and west by conquest and by opening new trade routes built on groundbreaking transportation, communications, and management innovations.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who arose from an oppressive Jewish ghetto to establish the most powerful bank the world has seen and ushered in an era of global finance.
Cyrus Field, who became the father of global communications by leading the effort to build the transatlantic telegraph, the forerunner to global radio, TV, and the worldwide Internet.
Margaret Thatcher, whose controversial policies opened the gusher of substantially free markets that linked economies across borders.
Andy Grove, a Hungarian refugee from the Nazis who built the company - Intel - that figured out how to manufacture complex computer chips on a mass commercial scale and laid the foundation for Silicon Valley's computer revolution.

Through these stories Garten probes critical questions, such as: How much influence can any one person have in fundamentally changing the world? From Silk to Silicon is an essential book to understanding the past - and the future - of the most powerful force of our times.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Horrible narrator

Interesting book hobbled by narrator who makes some of the most vibrant historical figures boring.
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- W. Schiemenz

Interesting stories of movers in history

This book was not what I expected. It is an interesting biography of 10 prominent figures in history, who were obsessed and persistent to make real change.

I found the second half of the book much more enjoyable if only because of the impact of those that truly connected the modern world.

These guys may have been great in their achievement, but in most cases it came at a cost. Most had a dark side, and it can be hard to admire such monsters, but they got the job done. They changed the world through hook or crook.

The ends justified the means would be a good attribute to their methods. One cannot deny that each played a major part in history, but it wasn't in isolation. They surrounded themselves with capable allies.

I recommend this book only because their stories are exceptionally dramatic, not so much as role model but as hard men who knew what they wanted and what it takes to force change.

I'm sure they were many more people that were important, but a selection of 10 is reasonable considering the length of the book.

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- Philomath

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-01-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books