The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company

Michael S. Malone. Harper Business, $34.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-222676-1
The manufacturer of the micro-processors that power Windows computers and other electronic gadgetry acquires quasi-divine status in this awestruck corporate history. Journalist Malone (The Future Arrived Yesterday) peppers countless superlatives—even the “Intel Inside” ad blitz constituted “a historic achievement”—throughout his engaging, but disorganized, over-padded, yet sometimes cursory account of the company’s technological breakthroughs and business-strategy coups. The book succeeds in its portrayal of the hair-raising travails of longtime CEO Andy Grove (“the greatest businessman of the age”), who grew up Jewish in Nazi-occupied Hungary and then fled communism. Meanwhile, a lavish chronicle of Robert Noyce’s uneventful middle-American backstory is a less-than-gripping part of the author’s attempt to resurrect the Intel co-founder as a Silicon Valley titan. This is a serviceable account of the digital revolution’s hardware side, but Malone inflates Intel into the semi-conductor equivalent of the triune godhead, styling Noyce as “the beloved and charismatic[…] father,” Grove as “the brilliant but truculent son in a perpetual Oedipal battle,” and co-founder Gordon Moore as the “Holy Spirit of the digital age,” his celebrated Moore’s Law—integrated circuits double their performance every year or two—propelling mankind towards the “singularity” when humans and computers become one. Less bombast and myth-making might have yielded a more substantive saga. 8-page b&w photo insert. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/24/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-06-222678-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-06-222677-8
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