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The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation Paperback – 30 May 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (30 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143122797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143122791
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"[F]illed with colorful characters and inspiring lessons..."The Idea Factory" explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation?"

--Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review

"Gertner handles the experimentation descriptions with elegance and clarity, while proving even more engaging with his profiles of leading Bell lights."

--Newark Star Ledger

"Remarkably well researched, lucidly written."

--The Seattle Times

"Compelling... Gertner's book offers fascinating evidence for those seeking to understand how a society should best invest its research resources."

--The Wall Street Journal

"Gertner provides a view of American research and development that will take engineers, scientists, and managers back to the golden age of invention in the U.S.... Gertner follows these odd and brilliant thinkers to the end of Bell Labs in the 1980s and to their own ends, providing readers with insight into management, creativity, and engineering that remain applicable today."

--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Riveting... Mr. Gertner's portraits of Kelly and the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries and inventions utterly comprehensible -- indeed, thrilling -- to the lay reader. And they showcase, too, his novelistic sense of character and intuitive understanding of the odd ways in which clashing or compatible personalities can combine to foster intensely creative collaborations."

--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"[A]n expansive new history...does an impressive job of illuminating many of Bell Labs' key technological triumphs."

--Wired.com

"Gertner reveals the complicated humanity at work behind the scenes and provides unprecedented insight on some of history's most important scientific and technological advances. Packed with anecdotes and trivia and written in clear and compelling prose, this story of a cutting-edge and astonishingly robust intellectual era--and one not without its controversies and treachery--is immensely enjoyable."

--Kirkus Reviews

"One of the best innovation-focused books I've read: It's a wide-ranging, detailed, and deeply fascinating look at the New Jersey lab which has been churning out useful discoveries since the early 1900s."

--The Boston Globe

"[F]ascinating history...the re--Slate Book Review

About the Author

Jon Gertner grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, just a few hundred yards away from Bell Labs. He has been a writer for the New York Times Magazine since 2004 and is an editor at Fast Company magazine. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.


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8 September 2017
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17 April 2013
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19 January 2014
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5 February 2014
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29 December 2013
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24 May 2014
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15 January 2016
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