“!http://static.flickr.com/26/56506710_e0051abe8b_m.jpg!”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060840978/qid=1129911170/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8539828-2184811?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 _How we got here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets_ is a superfast history of capital markets and the computer industry. A free pdf copy is available at “the publishers website”:http://www.pragmaticprogrammers.com/hwgh.html. Most history books push a ton load of facts at you which sometime makes it hard to grasp the bigger picture(s). This book forgoes the details for a whirlwind tour of the industrial revolution, the evolution of capital markets, and puts today’s IT revolution in perspective. The book jumps all over the place, but is very interesting nonetheless.
bq.. There is a tendency by people today to believe that IT revolution of the last couple of decades is without precedence. Kessler’s history shows that entrepreneurs during the industrial revolution made productivity gains that would embarrass today’s IT industry. (Eli Whitney’s cotton gin produced a factor of 50 productivity gain!)
“How We Got Here” is an short and entertaining history of the industrial revolution. I think that most people have learned about the industrial revolution in a piecemeal fashion without really understanding what it was and how it impacted society. By integrating technology, markets, finance, etc., Kessler’s book does a good job of describing the revolution and showing how it changed society.
This book is a must for anyone who thinks the IT industry in the 1990s was an anomaly. The revolution will continue in the 21th century, although the technology and key applications will be different.