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Saving Bletchley Park: How #socialmedia saved the home of the WWII codebreakers Hardcover – 10 Mar 2016
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The inspirational story of the campaign to save one of Britain's most critical wartime heritage sites, and the history behind what made it a place worth saving.
About the Author
Saving Bletchley Park is Sue's first book. At the time of funding it was the fastest crowdfunded book in the world EVER!
Dr Sue Black left home and school at 16, married at 20 and had 3 children by the age of 23. At 25, a single parent living on a council estate in Brixton, she decided to get an education. Sue studied maths at Southwark College, then gained a degree in computing and a PhD in software engineering at London South Bank University.
In 2001 Sue set up the UK's first online network for women in tech, BCSWomen. It was this that led her in 2003 to Bletchley Park for the first time, and to starting her campaign to save it in 2008.
Passionate about the way that technology and education can change lives Sue is now a social entrepreneur, "tech...", writer and public speaker who has won numerous awards including being one of the '50 most inspiring women in European tech'. Her start-up, #techmums works with disadvantaged families, teaching mums tech skills to empower them, build their confidence and get them excited about technology. Sue writes regularly in the UK national press about technology.
Sue would love to know if you enjoyed readingSaving Bletchley Park, so please do tweet her @Dr_Black and let her know using the Twitter ID @savingbletchley.
Stevyn joined the police after a drunken bet with his father (also a policeman) on his 18th birthday that he couldn't stay in the force for six months. He stayed thirty years. He currently works as a writer on the popular BBC TV series QI and its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity, for BBC Radio 4.
He's written briefing notes for two prime ministers, TV scripts for Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who, helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum and movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at. He's also been set on fire twice, been kissed by Princess Diana once, and Freddie Mercury once wore his helmet.
He is a creative consultant for Left/Field London, a visiting lecturer at a number of UK universities, and has given hundreds of talks across the UK and USA. He was a judge for the 2014 Transmission Awards for the Communication of Ideas.
He stops inordinately frequently for tea.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think we forget just how quickly we've become used to Social Media, but just a few years ago this wasn't the case and Sue Black made real and very effective use of the whole thing.
I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has any kind of interest in any of the following: History, Humour, People, Social Media, what women did during the war and obviously Technology.
I understand Sue Black's contribution to this and much more besides has recently earned her an O.B.E. and very well deserved it is too.
If you ever doubted the power of Social Media as a transformative tool, you also need to read this book.
This isn’t a self-congratulating book. Dr. Sue Black’s optimistic determination, persistence and almost naive belief in human kindness, shines through her narrative as she modestly describes her own journey in transforming a simple wish to preserve history, into an epic success. Bletchley Park has not only been saved from dereliction but it has become a celebrated monument in British history, thanks to Sue Black’s belief that it really ought to be one!
This book is just as much a history lesson on the most significant intellectual contribution to WWII, as it is a motivational masterpiece and a training manual on how to turn opportunities into successful outcomes, through the sheer power of passion.
I found the book a bit repetitive when mentioning that 50% of the staff were women (which I think is amazing) but I do understand the sentiment as we certainly should be encouraging more women into STEM training and careers. Dr. Black is certainly a fantastic role model but I think she does not help the cause by referring to herself as a "Geek" as this may discourage her target audience.
Buy the book, support BP and badger the Government to do more.
But it's the contents that matter and this is full of good content, and photos. If you think you need to be a tech head to read it, worry not. I am not but the passion with which Dr Black describes her subject almost made me wish I were.
Women have not had fair representation in history. The book goes some way to redressing the balance. For that reason alone I would love it. The fact that it's a really good read is almost a bonus!
This book is a Must Read, it has history, humour, facts and fun and I was gripped from start to finish. Saving Bletchley Park entwines the story of a campaign to save a place of huge national significance with the journey of one strong and inspiring woman.
The book tells with page-turning passion the twin stories of Sue’s almost-obsessional campaigning alongside the history of how intercepting German high command won the war. The stories are cleverly interwoven to bring to the simultaneous climaxes of Bletchley Park saved and World War 2 won.
Sue’s extreme use of Twitter was powerfully used to pull it all off. At the time she used it, Twitter was sufficiently established to be exploited to the full, the distress call from Bletchley Park had been sent up and there were Bletchley veterans still alive to reveal the secrets of what really happened there. It was a “perfect storm”.
A few exceptional individuals: Alan Turing, Tommy Flowers and Bill Tutte have been credited with most of the code breaking achievements. But many other significant, committed and conscientious people were needed to play their parts. In the same way, Sue has been credited with saving Bletchley Park – and she indeed deserves so much credit – but she too needed her support network: a network of devoted Twitter followers who would put their Tweets in actions.
You should read this book! If it wasn’t for Bletchley and the birth of the first computer your life would be probably be very different. If you read this book, I hope it then makes a further difference to your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How to make a million times better use of Twitter than the President of the USA!Published 24 days ago by Gary Day-Ellison
What a beautiful account of an inspiring story. Saving Bletchley Park is written with such modesty and brilliance by Sue Black, which mirrors the modesty and brilliance of the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Gemma Church
Great read, relaxed style, and interesting dives into the history of Bletchley. 4 stars rather than 5 as I think there is too much about Twitter that I found tiring after a while.Published 9 months ago by Jon Kent
Interesting read that shows how an important chapter from the history of computers was made known to a wider public through a social media campaign, saving Bletchley Park in the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Dr. Sue Black is phenomenal: I've known Sue for some years now, and she has been an inspiring leader and friend to me and many others who share her passion for life and being a... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lucian J. Hudson
I read this gem of a book 2 weekends ago but have had precious little time to write about it so now I'm making time. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Miss Sarah Jane Murray
A heart-warming account of how passion for women's rights spurred redoubtable Sue Black to badger the establishment to re-dress injustice and prejudice against homosexuals and save... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kathryn Jane Cooper
This is a great book. It wasn't quite what I expected - I vaguely thought I was going to be reading about the lives of the women who worked at Bletchley Park cracking intelligence... Read morePublished 11 months ago by C. Sudbery
So often these days, news headlines are pock-marked with nasty tales of hacking incidents, online trolling, bullying and abuse that are setting a lot of people off from... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lisa Devaney
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