Books : reviews

Jon Gertner.
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the great age of American innovation.
Penguin. 2012

From its beginnings in the 1920s until its demise in the 1980s, Bell Labs—the official research and development wing of AT&T—was the biggest, and arguably the best, laboratory for new ideas in the world. From transistors and fiber optics to lasers and cellular telephony, it’s hard to find an aspect of modern life that hasn’t been touched by Bell Labs. In this definitive narrative of one of the greatest collaborations between science, business, and society in American history, Jon Gertner relates a deeply human story of extraordinary men who were given extraordinary means—time, space, funds, and access to one another—and laid the foundations of the information age.