Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970

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In Making Silicon Valley, Christophe Lecuyer shows that the explosive growth of the personal computer industry in Silicon Valley was the culmination of decades of growth and innovation in the San Francisco-area electronics industry. Using the tools of science and technology studies, he explores the formation of Silicon Valley as an industrial district, from its beginnings as the home of a few radio enterprises that operated in the shadow of RCA and other East Coast firms through its establishment as a center of the electronics industry and a leading producer of power grid tubes, microwave tubes, and semiconductors. He traces the emergence of the innovative practices that made this growth possible by following key groups of engineers and entrepreneurs. He examines the forces outside Silicon Valley that shaped the industry - in particular the effect of military patronage and procurement on the growth of the industry and on the development of technologies - and considers the influence of Stanford University and other local institutions of higher learning.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" Making Silicon Valley is meatier than its contemporaries. Dense and replete with footnotes, it"s an expert book written for experts-readers who already know Robert Noyce from Gordon Moore. For them, it"s a detailed and nuanced discussion of how and why Silicon Valley emerged as a center of manufacturing, product engineering, and management." HBS Working Knowledge
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262122818
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Series: Inside Technology
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Christophe Lécuyer is Professor of the History of Science and Technology at Université Pierre et Marie Curie and the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 (MIT Press,2005).

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Table of Contents

1 Defiant West 13
2 Diversification 53
3 Military cooperative 91
4 Revolution in silicon 129
5 Opening up new markets 169
6 Miniaturization 211
7 Valley of silicon 253
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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Insights into Silicon Valley's high-tech evolution

    In the mid-1970s, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, founders of a Silicon Valley startup named Apple, asked Intel retiree Mike Markkula to invest in their firm. Sensing that it could become a winner, he gave them $92,000 and, in 1977, went to work for the company. Three years later, Apple went public and Markkula made millions. Time and again over the decades, this amazing story has repeated itself on the San Francisco Peninsula now known as Silicon Valley. getAbstract finds that historian Christophe Lécuyer does a capable, intriguing, intricately researched job of taking readers behind the scenes to learn how Silicon Valley first developed, what makes it tick and what its high-tech mastery has accomplished. While some of the technical terms may require a learning curve, this is the place to learn about the center of technology in the U.S. before it came to create and dominate the high-tech industry.

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