The Internet is the most remarkable thing human beings have built since the Pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will look back at it and marvel that a people equipped with such clumsy tools succeeded in creating such a Leviathan. John Naughton's book intersperses wonderful personal stories with an authoritative and beautifully written account of where the net actually came from, who invented it and why, and where it might be taking us. Most of us have no idea of how the Internet works or who created it. Even fewer have any idea of what it means for society and the future. A Brief History of the Future is an impassioned attempt to rescue the Internet from the condescension of posterity, to celebrate the engineers and scientists who created it and to explain the values and ideas that drove them. Its heroes are the people who laid the foundations of the post-modern world -- from visionaries like Robert Taylor, Norbert Wiener and Ted Nelson to the engineers -- Paul Baran, Donald Davies, Larry Roberts, Bob Kahn and Tim Berners-Lee -- who implemented their dreams in hardware and software. In a cynical age, John Naughton has not lost his capacity for wonder. In this book, he writes about the Net in the way that Nick Hornby writes about football. He examines the nature of his own enthusiasm for technology and traces its roots in his lonely childhood and in his relationship with his father. A Brief History of the Future is an intensely personal celebration of vision and altruism, ingenuity and determination and above all, of the power of ideas, passionately felt, to change the world.