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How the Internet Happened

Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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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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Profile Image for Darrell
  • 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!)

6 of 6 people found this review 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.

4 of 4 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • 08-09-19

Interesting but surface-level

If you have an interest in the evolution of the Internet, then this book is worth the read. The author does a good job of putting major trends in context. However, many details were spared. This book largely focuses on general information and business-related changes in regards to the Internet. I personally preferred and expected more of an emphasis on the technology than the business side of things, but I suppose that is a tricky balance to strike with this subject matter.

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  • Karolina Chachulska
  • 02-07-19

Super informative

The book is filled up with amazing facts about early internet companies yet presented in a way that reads like a novel.

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  • matthew Carasso
  • 18-05-19

Wealth of information

Was a really a great listen. I felt it had a broad explanation of each era in the internet that Brian talked about. Have recommended this book to family members who have intrigue in technology.

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  • Jean Carlos
  • 15-05-19

What an awesome book!

I loved it! I finally learned how we got to this point in the internet era. I don't usually write comments, but this book deserves it!

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  • Reckoning
  • 11-05-19

Insanely great book

Though well-versed in US cultural and technological history, I enjoyed listening to this delightful book. The mark of a good historian is the ability to create a fresh context for the events described, and McCullough does exactly that. The context here is a sense of marvel and wonderment. These are inherent in the prose, but narrator Pabon’s reading gives them voice. This is an insanely great living history of how we arrived at this cultural moment.

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  • Tim
  • 10-04-19

​ZDTV & Computer Chronicles

​I have to agree with most reviewers of "How the Internet Happened" is a good informational book. As I lived through that era and also being disable, technology has always been the key component in my life. I could remembered in 1994-1995, going to my English teacher (Dr. Poff) and asking him what was the Internet and how do I get on it. Ever since then, I've always been connected. If it wasn't for my high school teacher, I probably could had figured it out, but those were some exciting times, trying to dial into Netcom and Compuserve.

As for Brian McCullough's book. I enjoyed the blast from the past. As a coder, the information is very mainstream and water down. It's an easy read. For someone that hasn't lived through those years, they would probably think that this book is outstanding. Even I was mesmerized the past and how far the technology has evolved of what we are experiencing now. This book is something that I would pass on to the next generation that takes their screen time for granted.

While the information presented was excellent, the author left out ZDTV and Computer Chronicles. They were the first to break the news on new products and services on tv. I can remember watching PBS and seeing an episode of Computer Chronicles on Hotmail and let's not forget Compaq 486 DX.

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  • L. B. Glass
  • 04-04-19

Excellent narrative, but needs an update.

An excellent narrative - though it glosses over some early Internet entrepreneurs' greed, deceptiveness, and lack of business ethics. The main problem I found, though, is that it is no longer up to date. It doesn't mention recent scandals involving Google or Facebook, for example, nor Google's push to have the Internet regulated - using the false slogan "network neutrality" - to prevent competition from arising. The author should revise the book to cover these and other timely topics.