The Pentagon's Brain

The Pentagon's Brain

An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-secret Military Research Agency

Book - 2015
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A Pulitzer Prize Finalist and the definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 .

No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.

This is the book on DARPA -- a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316371766
Branch Call Number: 355.07 JACOBSEN
Characteristics: viii, 552 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Aug 08, 2018

Overall, the book is well written (with a few exceptions) and worth reading. BUT... I listened to the audio book (read by the author) and CANNOT recommend that. Her pronunciation of various people and acronyms sound like she's reading the material for the first time. Just terribly grating. Get the printed book, don't bother with the audiobook.

Jan 26, 2018

Good book, with great stories behind the early days of the cold war, the Vietnam war.

Unfortunately, it was taking me forever to read - I returned it before finishing.

Nov 02, 2015

I was extremely critical of Jacobsen's previous two books, but she appears to have improved considerably since them. My major two criticisms are her repetition of Adm. Poindexter's justifications for the Total Information Awareness program [maybe he really was that far out of the loop, but don't be confused - - after-action congressional investigations proved that the CIA knew about the hijackers' activities in America, just as the NSA knew whom they were surveilling, as they had been tasked by the CIA to do communications surveillance on them] and her writing about the assassination of Diem of Vietnam and the Kennedy administration - - never ironclad verification, since the Watergate taped conversation between the CIA's Lucien Conein and E. Howard Hunt proved that Bobby Kennedy was against the coup and repeatedly told them not to take any action, and Hunt's comments on creating a false cable signed by President Kennedy, and the reports that JFK was furious when he learned of Diem's murder - - 20 days before he too would die by assassination!
Props and applause for Jacobsen for mentioning Nexus 7 and Map-HT and her pointed comments on them, echoing similar I have heard [since she didn't mention a synthesis of those two programs, Simulacrum, I assume she's unfamiliar with it????].
With this book Jacobsen appears much more analytical, not simply robotically repeating fanciful whoppers some clownish sort has foisted upon her!
[My personal thanks to her - - in her Acknowledgements she mentions the coincidental meeting between former Pararescueman, CMSgt. Boles and Rip Jacobs, the crewmember he rescued. Recall CMSgt. Boles from my military service, he was an ornery type!]


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