I’m currently reading journalist/historian Steven Levy’s In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (Simon & Schuster, April 2011). At the half-way point through the book (Google is at the stage of throwing billion-dollar data centers around the planet), I can say it’s is wonderfully precise on the ancient history of the company. I’ve taught lessons on the history of Google to undergraduates numerous times, so a lot of the events and personalities are familiar — but it’s great to now have a book that’s so authoritative. I’d previously read and enjoyed Levy’s Crypto: How the [Cryptography] Code Rebels Beat the Government, Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (2002), and his new book is just as nearly structured, well researched, and elegantly written. Highly recommended.

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