Berlin, Leslie 1969-
Berlin, Leslie 1969-
Historian, educator, and writer. Stanford University, Stanford, CA, visiting scholar in history and philosophy of science and technology, and project historian for Silicon Valley Archives.
Leslie Berlin is an historian whose research interests include the history of high-technology industries and the Silicon Valley in California. In her first book, The Man behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, the author provides a biography of a little-known figure outside the world of high technology: Intel cofounder and microchip coinventor Robert Noyce. Berlin came up with the idea to write about Noyce during her research into the history of Silicon Valley. The author kept coming across Noyce's name as one of the most important people in the growth of the computer industry, but when she tried to find a biography of Noyce she discovered none had been written.
In her book, the author tells the relatively unknown story of a boy from a small town who went on to revolutionize the computer industry and, in many ways, the world. "All the busy billionaires, multimillionaires and geeks in their garages dreaming up the next big thing that will bring glory back to Silicon Valley should plunk down some loose change on The Man Behind the Microchip," wrote Jon Christensen in a review in the San Francisco Chronicle. "And anyone interested in the true creation story of Silicon Valley—in contrast to the enticing tales of the myth-makers who continue to blow bubbles of promise up and down the Peninsula—would do well to make a small investment in this terrific biography."
Berlin traces Noyce's life from his boyhood in a small town in Iowa through his death in 1990 from a massive heart attack at the age of sixty-two. She describes a brilliant inventor, scientist, and entrepreneur who invented the integrated circuit, which is the basis for modern personal computers and cell phones. She also writes of Noyce's personal life, describing an individual with a strong sense of commitment and ethics. She details Noyce's cofounding of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957, which helped lay the foundation for the growth of Silicon Valley as a high-tech computer mecca, and of his founding of Intel in 1968 with Gordon Moore. In addition, the author offers her views about why Noyce never achieved the public recognition and fame accorded to other seminal figures in the high-tech revolution, such as Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
"This is her first book, but if she continues with this level of scholarship and writing, I expect that she will contribute further to the study of the history of technol- ogy," wrote Gwen M. Gregory in Information Today, adding that the book "is both an enjoyable read and an important scholarly contribution." Alex Soojung-Kim Pang wrote in the American Scientist that the author's "excellent new study … is a welcome addition to the body of historical literature dealing with recent computer technology."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Scientist, November 1, 2005, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, "Intel Insider," review of The Man behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, p. 558.
Boston Globe, June 26, 3005, Robert Weisman, "The Spark behind a New Culture of Innovators," review of The Man behind the Microchip.
Business History Review, winter, 2005, Jeffrey R. Yost, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 893.
Business Horizons, March-April, 2006, Mimi Dollinger, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 174.
Financial Times, July 31, 2005, Alan Cane, "Book Review: The Father of Silicon Valley."
Information Today, March, 2006, Gwen M. Gregory, "Creating the Information Age," review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 48.
New York Times Book Review, August 28, 2005, Clive Thompson "The Next Small Thing," review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 9.
PC Magazine, June 28, 2005, Michael J. Miller, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 7.
Publishers Weekly, May 23, 2005, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 72.
San Francisco Chronicle, July 10, 2005, Jon Christensen, "It All Started with a Chip and a ‘Wild Expansionist,’" review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. E1.
Technology and Culture, July, 2006, Daniel Holbrook, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 678.
Washington Monthly, June, 2005, Robert Burnett, "Gates, Schmates: Robert Noyce Invented the Integrated Circuit. Then He Invented the Culture of Silicon Valley," review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. 49.
Washington Post, August 28, 2005, Jonathan Krim, review of The Man behind the Microchip, p. F03.
Man behind the Microchip Web site,http://www.themanbehindthemicrochip.com (February 14, 2008).
Metro Active,http://www.metroactive.com/ (February 14, 2008), Matt Reed, "The Whole Noyce," review of The Man behind the Microchip.
Technology Review,http://www.technologyreview.com/ (February 14, 2008), Roger Lowenstein, "The Integrator," review of The Man behind the Microchip.