This is a well-written, well-researched history of the center of technological innovation in the first 3/4 of the 20th century. The author picked his stories well, focusing on a few of the most impactful players in the history of technology, data, and communication. There were a few stories that I expected but weren't included, but upon reflection, they were outside the main thrust of the book.
I enjoyed all the stories about the people and their technologies, but I particularly appreciated the author's attempts to convey how the culture of innovation was nurtured (am I allowed to use such a feminine word in talking about this masculine lab?) and sustained. He asks the right questions, including whether the monopoly was necessary to pursue basic science, and offers some data to inform the discussion, but isn't heavy handed about pointing to all the answers. Since I work in basic research, this book provided a lot for me to chew on regarding the relationship between science, technology, and the marketplace.