The 2020 Porchlight Business Book of the Year is here!

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Steven Johnson

From the New York Times -bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Unexpected Life , a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas.

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Book Information

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: 09/22/2015
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9781594633935
ISBN-10: 1594633932
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 12, 2014

To wrap up our Thinker in Residence series, Nicholas Carr answers a few quick questions on business and books. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 20, 2015

There are no secrets. When we ask writers about their process or scientists about their methods or inventors where they got their ideas from... READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 13, 2014

The culling process we undertake during the awards process is always rigorous, but we've narrowed it down to 40 books—5 each in 8 categories. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 27, 2014

The vast majority of articles about startups and innovation focus on Silicon Valley. Today we look at two innovators far removed from the typical incubators. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 06, 2016

It's been another record year for us here at 800-CEO-READ. These are the books we moved the most in 2015. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 10, 2014

In The Glass Cage Nicholas Carr asks us to reconsider how automation is affecting how we experience our life and work. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 12, 2014

Not many writers can craft an engaging 250 page book around seemingly mundane subjects such as glass and freezing, but Steven Johnson can. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 09, 2014

The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards category winners (and shortlist for the best book of the year) 2014. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Unexpected Life, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas.

In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes--from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth--How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species--to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.

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