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No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet
     

No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet

5.0 1
by Molly Knight Raskin
 

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No Better Time tells of a young, driven mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. It's the story of a beautiful friendship between a loud, irreverent student and his soft-spoken MIT professor, of a husband and father who spent years struggling to make ends meet only to become a billionaire almost

Overview


No Better Time tells of a young, driven mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. It's the story of a beautiful friendship between a loud, irreverent student and his soft-spoken MIT professor, of a husband and father who spent years struggling to make ends meet only to become a billionaire almost overnight with the success of Akamai Technologies, the Internet content delivery network he cofounded with his mentor.

Danny Lewin's brilliant but brief life is largely unknown because, until now, those closest to him have guarded their memories and quietly mourned their loss. For Lewin was almost certainly the first victim of 9/11, stabbed to death at age 31 while trying to overpower the terrorists who would eventually fly American Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. But ironically it was 9/11 that proved the ultimate test for Lewin's vision—while phone communication failed and web traffic surged as never before, the critical news and government sites that relied on Akamai—and the technology pioneered by Danny Lewin—remained up and running.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus Reviews, 8/1/13
“Bittersweet but celebratory.”

Booklist, 9/1/13
“Little-known but thoroughly captivating life story… A superlatively written and well-deserved tribute to an overlooked internet pioneer and true American hero.”

Tablet Magazine, 9/11/13
“[A] terrific new biography.”

Winnipeg Free Press, 9/9/13
"No Better Time is the chronicle of a man who gave his life to technology and gave his life for mankind."

The Daily Beast, 9/17/13
“This is Lewin's fascinating biography, but it is also a history of the Internet, and those who took it from clunky dial-up service to the speed-of-light marvel. It is also the story of the September 11 attacks themselves, and how they ground the exuberance of the 1990s to a halt. Raskin has meticulously reconstructed the buoyancy of the '90s dot-com boom, and her restraint in covering the attacks lends a sober poignancy to Lewin's story.”

Kirkus Reviews
An account of the tragically brief life of mathematician Danny Lewin (1970–2001), whose innovative algorithms "[changed] the Internet forever." When the Denver-born former Israeli Defense Forces soldier entered MIT in 1996 to begin work on a doctorate in mathematics, the Internet was still very much a work in progress. It offered limitless possibilities as the information superhighway, but its "complex architecture" was plagued by an ever-present congestion that no one seemed to know how to alleviate. While working with Tom Leighton, the graduate adviser who would become his business partner and close friend, Lewin wrote a set of algorithms that would transform the Internet from the "World Wide Wait" into a faster, more efficient communication tool. His aim was to become an academic like his mentor, but the desire to provide a better life for his family motivated him to turn his ideas into a business. In 1997, he and Leighton entered the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition in hopes of attracting the money they needed to fund a content-delivery company they christened Akamai Technologies. Although they lost, Lewin continued to pursue their dream with a passion that caught the attention of both high-level venture capitalists and brilliant young computer scientists. By late 1999, Akamai boasted clients like Disney, Apple and Yahoo and had made Lewin and Leighton into billionaires. Lewin died--though with his military training, "not without a fight"--when his plane crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11. Ironically, it was his trailblazing technology that helped online news sources like CNN and MSNBC withstand the colossal worldwide demand for information about the attacks that killed him along with thousands of innocent bystanders. Bittersweet but celebratory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306821660
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
590,867
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Molly Knight Raskin is a Columbia School of Journalism graduate who has reported for Scientific American Mind, Psychology Today, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Her television credits include two PBS documentaries. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two daughters.
MollyKnightRaskin.com

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No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading No Better Time, and was completely fascinated by this unique story of a brilliant man, the brilliant technology he created for Internet transmissions, and which undoubtedly contributed to the operation of this website and millions of others, and to his tragic death as "the first victim of 9/11". Molly Knight Raskin weaves together a nonfiction story that reads like fiction - the elements of humanity, science, technology and tragedy told in a way that holds the reader's attention to the very end. Well done!