The Imagineers of War

The Imagineers of War

The Untold History of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World

Book - 2017
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Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that have evolved from the agency's mission- forward-thinking solutions to the Pentagon's challenges. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA's successes and failures, useful innovations and wild-eyed schemes- we see how the nuclear threat sparked investment in computer networking, which led to the Internet, as well as plans to power a missile-seeking particle beam by draining the Great Lakes...how, in Vietnam, DARPA developed technology for the world's first armed drones and was also responsible for Agent Orange... how DARPA's recent success with self-driving cars is counterbalanced with its disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Weinberger has spoken to dozens of former DARPA and Pentagon officials--many of whom had never been interviewed before about their work with the agency--and synthesized countless documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The result is a riveting history of a meeting point of science, technology, and politics.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385351799
0385351798
Branch Call Number: 355.04 WEINBERGER
Characteristics: x, 475 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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pterry25
Jul 24, 2017

Very informative. It is a good reminder of what America does best - seeing around the corner. Some of what DARPA initiated moved the world forward. The ending was a tad sad - while dealing with medical challenges that are the result of war is good. It seems anticlimactic. More busywork. But seeing around the corner - envisioning the future - has a lot of fits and starts.

s
StarGladiator
Mar 26, 2017

One grows so tired of reading so much non-fiction which is really fictional - - so coming across this stupendous work of enormous scholarship is euphoria-inducing; Sharon Weinberger enlightens one and all with Real History - - the reader is left with mixed thoughts and opinions, pondering what-might-have-beens and equally as appalled as President Kennedy at some of their crazy ventures, along with too many Pentagon SNAFUs!
I cannot emphasize this enough - - this book is the result of enormous scholarship - - reportage of the First Order!
[Sidebar: Ms. Weinberger even includes the hilarious sham of SRI's paranormal program. I first read about this in New York Magazine around 1976. The SRI physicists {not the kind I have ever heard of before???} - - according to their complementary, gee whiz! article, claimed that one of them had moved a small pebble-sized sphere with the power of his mind, and said:
// If one can PK {psychokinesis} a speck of dust, why not a star? \\
His claim was never verified nor validated, but assuming it had been real, which I don't, the order of magnitude of the energy expenditure involved - - as any real physicist would have told us - - would be extraordinary! ! !
Also, it turned out these so-called physicists at SRI were also practicing scientologists - - need I say more???]
A quote from the author: // The intellectual reductionism of TED talks . . . \\ Man oh Man! I love this author!!!!

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