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The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Unabridged / Go to Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Walter Isaacson

Narrated By: Dennis Boutsikaris

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: October 2014

Duration: 17 hours 32 minutes


The major thrust of Isaacson's biographical tale of these great pioneers and entrepreneurs is that most of the innovations of the digital age were done collaboratively. It is through this collaboration, not only among peers but across generations, that made possible the handing off of visionary ideas that transformed our world.

The parallel story is that of the personal computer. Devised as a tool for solo creativity (somewhat hippie San Francisco), it came together with the Internet, which was built on collaboration in the late 80s. Isaacson compares it to the inventions of the steam engine and mechanical processes that led to the Industrial Revolution. There are one billion people presently connected.

In this colorful saga, we start with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who wrote a treatise on a general purpose computer in the middle of the nineteenth century. The book is filled with fascinating personalities, from early pioneers such as Vannevar Bush, Steward Brand, Doug Engelbart, Howard Aiken, Robert Noyce, Andy Grave, to Bill Gates and Jobs and Wozniak.

And from Lovelace to Jobs, Isaacson adds that the crucial digital insights have come from those who connect the humanities to technology, the arts to the sciences, beauty to utility. The interplay of these will continue to invent new forms of content. This is the biggest story out there.


  • Gregory Twiss

    I enjoyed this book, the narration was excellent as well.

  • Danielle Beckley

    Absolutely love. The narrator is phenomenal. It is a lot of information to take in but I feel that I get more listening than I would reading the thick book.

  • Joshua Lubeck

    Walter Issacion' book on Steve Jobs was great. I had first read the abridged version. Then when done wanting more I went back and listened to the unabridged version. I have. Degree in computers and this book was way too technical for me, somebody with less knowledge would be lost. This is the first book in a long time I contemplating putting down. I persevered and still one of my top five do not reads in my lifetime. I feel this did not need to be so technical to get their story across and broader audience may have enjoyed it.