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Summary

Tech guru Brian McCullough delivers a rollicking history of the Internet, why it exploded, and how it changed everything.

The Internet was never intended for you, opines Brian McCullough in this lively narrative of an era that utterly transformed everything we thought we knew about technology. In How the Internet Happened, he chronicles the whole fascinating story for the first time, beginning in a dusty Illinois basement in 1993, when a group of college kids set off a once-in-an-epoch revolution with what would become the first "dotcom".

Depicting the lives of now-famous innovators like Netscape's Marc Andreessen and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, McCullough also reveals surprising quirks and unknown tales as he tracks both the technology and the culture around the Internet's rise. Cinematic in detail and unprecedented in scope, the result both enlightens and informs as it draws back the curtain on the new rhythm of disruption and innovation the Internet fostered, and helps to redefine an era that changed every part of our lives.

©2018 Brian McCullough (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Darrell
  • 24-10-18

A leisurely stroll around the history of the Web

I was there in Cham-bana (University of Illinois) in the early 90’s - and this is just as I remember it. Lots of extra little details too. Everything you ever wanted to know about how the Web got started - the deals, start-ups, phenomenal growth and eventual burst of the Dot-com bubble.

One little quirk - the number spoken at the beginning of each chapter is off by one. Or was it Zero based numbering on purpose? (Good one, then!)

10 people found this helpful

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  • Admiralu
  • 04-01-19

Rise of the Internet- Excellent Narration


This was a fascinating trip down memory lane for those of us old enough to remember the beginning of the Internet. I remember using and loving Netscape Navigator, before Internet Explorer became dominant. It's all here, from the beginnings in academia to the adoption of the masses: AOL, Myspace, the dotcom bubble and Web 2.0. All the major players are profiled as well, from Marc Andreesen to Marc Zuckerman. Expertly told and if you love audio, beautifully narrated by Timothy Andres Pabon. This is a history everyone should read since it covers many of the sites and technologies often taken for granted. Highly enjoyable, I found it hard to put down.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Keith
  • 19-12-20

Critically empty history

McCullough provides a solid overview of key technologies, trends, and companies in the first two decades of the internet age. The book is most useful for readers who were either too young or disconnected from technology in the 1990s and 2000s to have experienced much of this history firsthand as users. As for those of us intimately familiar with dial up connections, the book largely serves as an easily digestible trip down memory lane that doesn't provide much in the way of new information. As well laid out as the book is, McCullough has a troubling tendency to write this history as a utopian triumph. His prose shares the tone of an Epcot attraction in its uncomplicated celebration of new technologies. Rarely does he ask critical questions about the broader costs inherent in the success stories of AOL, Facebook, Google, and Apple. If we should understand the history of automobiles as a devil's bargain where the benefits of modern transportation are countered by climate change and urban sprawl, a history of the Internet Age must consider the tradeoffs that come with connectivity and unfiltered information. The negative impact of the internet to privacy and democracy (to name only a few) are of no interest to McCullough, who sees this story simply as a list of smart young men making money and having fun along the way. Pretty empty, overall.

5 people found this helpful

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  • RandomTargets
  • 14-01-19

I enjoyed the story, the narrator did a great job.

this is one of these books that makes you want to not put it down and during the course of the narrator telling the story I found myself pausing it and going to the internet and researching different persons spoke in the story. I could definitely see myself going back to the story and listening to it again and again and this is the first time I could honestly say that. highly recommend this historical history of how the internet evolved and although I experienced many of these things as it occurred I could look back in hindsight and have a greater appreciation.

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  • RF
  • 16-06-21

Inviting and thoughtful

Thankfully hype was avoided and just an integrated story well grafted on the breadth and dynamic world. It provided enough depth and reality to invite the reader.

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  • Bryan
  • 25-03-21

distractingly tonedeaf narrator but great content

Riveting history of how the internet came to be and the bloodbath that followed. The narrator chuckles along at wry humor and punctuates subtlety with perky optimism that seems to alter the intended tone of the book and meanings of certain phrases.

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  • Grove girl
  • 06-03-21

I loved this book!

Very well put together! Easy to listen to and I completely enjoyed listening to it!

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  • Kent Curtis
  • 24-02-21

Brilliantly written

I lived through it. He did such a good job of reliving it with me. He ties it all together, simply, and beautifully. I was very happy about how he retold the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-02-21

Amazing !!

Very Enjoyable and informative going back into the history of tech
Well written and well narrated

I love it

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  • Frank
  • 25-01-21

Good book

Very interesting. A nice trip down memory lane. I’ve lost many hard drives in the late 90s/early 00s to P2P downloading of songs!