Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (MacMillan Science) (Paperback)

Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age (MacMillan Science) By J. Shurkin Cover Image
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Description


This is the first biography of William Shockley, founding father of Silicon Valley - one of the most significant and reviled scientists of the 20th century. Drawing upon unique access to the private Shockley archives, veteran technology historian and journalist Joel Shurkin gives an unflinching account of how such promise ended in such ignominy.

About the Author


JOEL N. SHURKIN is Science Writer Emeritus at Stanford University, USA, where he has written and taught for many years. He covered the moon landings for Reuters, served ten years as Science Writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and was on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering Three Mile Island, among many other awards. He has written nine books including Terman's Kids (Little, Brown) about the study of gifted students, Invisible Fire, on the eradication of smallpox, a science-fiction novel called The Helix (Norton) and most recently A Consumer's Guide to Psychotherapy (OUP). His definitive history of the computer, Engines of the Mind (Norton), is in multiple editions in several languages.

Praise For…


"Shurkin is a good storyteller, and better still as a researcher of the personal facts." --Nobel laureate Professor Philip Anderson, Times Higher Educational Supplement "Shurkin deftly tackles this complex figure -- and his unraveling -- and delivers an unflinching portrait of a tragic life."--Seed Magazine "At last, the definitive, unstinting biography of this hugely important historical figure--complete with all his contradictions and idiosyncrasies."--Michael Riordan, coauthor of Crystal Fire "I recommend it to people curious about the history of technology and the computer or anyone interested in a rise and fall of truly epic proportions."--Cory Ondrejka, CTO Linden Labs/Second Life "Shurkin does a good job of portraying a difficult man--a vivid portrait."--NewScientist  Praise for Engines of the Mind:
"A popularized, clearly written history of computing...beautifully captures the hectic, creative air at the Moore School as young engineers labored under John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert to construct ENIAC..."--The Wall Street Journal
"A fine book, full of interesting angles and lively stuff...Shurkin has the same lively facility for writing clearly about computers that Robert Heilbroner has for writing about economics...Shurkin writes a crisp newspaperly style, has a good eye for color and has created a fine book."--Boston Globe
"Offers a glimpse of science at both its finest and most mundane...clearly and vivaciously written."--ALA Booklist "The other wonderful thing about this book is that it manages to convey the excitement of scientific inquiry and invention."--New York Sun "FIVE STARS: this gripping biography gives a balanced picture of the most bizarre of the great names of electronics. Recommended." --Brian Clegg, author of The God Effect and Light Years "I recommend it to people curious about the history of technology and the computer or anyone interested in a rise and fall of truly epic proportions." --Cory Ondrejka, CTO Linden Labs/Second Life "Masterfully walks the fine line between presenting Shockley as purely evil and legitimizing his more controversial theories--very readable." --Physics World "This portrait of a flawed giant reveals a man crushed under the weight of his own pathological insecurities." --David Bodanis, Discover 
 "Shurkin reveals Shockley to be a fascinating example of an Aristotelian tragic hero--riveting." --Nature "This informed and candid biography asks, 'Why did a man so brilliant deliberately destroy himself?'" --Skeptical Inquiry
Praise for Terman's Kids:
"While Shurkin views his subject in a sympathetic light, he makes no apologies for Terman's flaws as a scientist and a human being...his Midwestern biases, sexism, his moral humbuggery."--Philadelphia Inquirer 

Product Details
ISBN: 9780230551923
ISBN-10: 0230551920
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Publication Date: June 13th, 2006
Pages: 302
Language: English
Series: MacMillan Science