"It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence," 24-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In this history, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing's vision of a Universal Machine. Their work would impact the study of human biology, meteorology, and the development of nuclear weapons, creating a distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things—and our world would never be the same.
"A mesmerizing tale brilliantly told…. Meticulously researched and packed with not just technological details, but sociopolitical and cultural details as well—the definitive history of the computer."—Kirkus (starred review)