Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

Claire L. Evans. Portfolio, $27 (270p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1175-9
Journalist Evans’s first book is an invigorating history of female coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who helped create and shape the internet, and whose contributions, she argues, are too often overlooked. The book’s subjects stretch back to Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter and a collaborator with Charles Babbage on his analytical engine. Evans makes astute connections to draw her subjects into a narrative about the democratization of technology. Grace Hopper, who worked on the Harvard Mark I computer during WWII, “believed that computer programming should be widely known and available to nonexperts,” which led her to develop one of the earliest programming languages. Stanford scientist Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler hired and trained other women to help her develop and maintain one of the first servers at the Network Information Center at Stanford in 1970s, and programmer Brenda Laurel brought gaming (and computer skills) to a generation of girls through her Rockett Movado series in the 1990s. If the spirit of the internet is collaborative, Evans’s women embody that spirit entirely—which is no surprise, since, as Evans dutifully shows, they had a huge role in inventing it. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/15/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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