From Steven Johnson, the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now, the companion book to his five-part BBC TV series. How did the advent of refrigeration help create the golden age of Hollywood? How did the invention of flash photography help shift public opinion on the plight of New York's poorest inhabitants and bring about social reform? And what about our battle against dirt? How did that help create the microchips in our smartphones and computers? In How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson traces six essential innovations that made the modern world; from their origins in ancient history to the technological advancements of recent years.
A celebration of innovation: this book shows how time and time again, big ideas coalesce out of smaller, incremental breakthroughs. Unlocking tales of the unsung heroes and unexpected scientific revolutions, this is the story of the ideas that changed the world and the way we live in it. "Johnson is one of the world's best chroniclers of innovation and in this book he brings a plethora of insights." (Matt Ridley, Sunday Times). "Readable, entertaining, and a challenge to any jaded sensibility that has become inured to the everyday miracles all around us." (Peter Forbes, Guardian). "Steven Johnson is the Darwin of technology. Through fascinating observations and insights, he enlightens us about the origin of ideas." (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs). "Elegant, one of the most persuasive advocates for the role of collaboration in innovation...Johnson's erudition can be quite gobsmacking." (Philip Delves Broughton, Wall Street Journal). Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, outside.in - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.