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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Random House, Inc.
The definitive history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that has quietly shaped war and technology for nearly sixty years.

Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, the agency’s original mission was to create “the unimagined weapons of the future.” Over the decades, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that extend well beyond military technology. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA’s successes and failures, its remarkable innovations, and its wild-eyed schemes. We see how the threat of nuclear Armageddon sparked investment in computer networking, leading to the Internet, as well as to a proposal to power a missile-destroying particle beam by draining the Great Lakes. We learn how DARPA was responsible during the Vietnam War for both Agent Orange and the development of the world’s first armed drones, and how after 9/11 the agency sparked a national controversy over surveillance with its data-mining research. And we see how DARPA’s success with self-driving cars was followed by disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Weinberger has interviewed more than one hundred former Pentagon officials and scientists involved in DARPA’s projects—many of whom have never spoken publicly about their work with the agency—and pored over countless declassified records from archives around the country, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and exclusive materials provided by sources. The Imagineers of War is a compelling and groundbreaking history in which science, technology, and politics collide.

Baker & Taylor
Describes the history, successes and failures of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, including Agent Orange, computer networking, the Internet, the world’s first armed drones and self-driving cars.

& Taylor

Describes the history, successes, and failures of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, including Agent Orange, computer networking, the Internet, the first armed drones, and self-driving cars.

Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385351799
Characteristics: x, 475 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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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.

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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