Sunday, May 02, 2004

Books, leaves on the tree of learning 

One of my other hobbies in addition to ham radio is reading. I am not a terribly fast reader so sometimes it is a struggle but I do enjoy it. In fiction I prefer the “techno thrillers” like those written by Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton. In non-fiction I prefer biographies and books related to history. I have become a big fan of Pittsburgh native David McCullough. I also am always on the look out for books related to radio and computers and have run across a few real gems over time.

Once such book is “The Victorian INETERNET” by Tom Standage. The sub title of the book is “The Remarkable Story of The Telegraph And The Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers”. Even if you are not interested in ham radio and the history of the telegraph, which also encompasses the history of the Morse Code, this is a truly fascinating book. We never really take the time in our modern world of instantaneous communications to think about the days when it took newspapers months to get current information about what was going on in Europe. Think about it, something major happens in England and the New York Times doesn’t even know it occurred let alone have accurate reports of the event for months! The telegraph changed all that. Stop and think about how that affected our culture and decisions made by business and governments.

In addition to the major impact of the telegraph network the book also covers some of the people involved, like Thomas Edison, and tells some interesting stories about them. This book will be a quick read for the average reader being only a little over 200 pages. I think you will find it as fascinating as I did.

The Victorian INTERNET
By: Tom Standage
Publisher: Walker and Company
ISBN: 0-8027-1342-4

You can find this book on line at AMAZON.COM and Barns & Nobel among other places.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?