The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World

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The wizards of war and innovation toiled in an agency that received very little fanfare for forty years. The Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA, later DARPA, oversaw various technological initiatives from nuclear weapon shields to the Internet to neural science. Their scientists would have access to the captured minds of the Nazi war machine and would parallel NASA in attempting to beat the Soviets to the moon. Their forays into warfare reached infamous levels with men like William Godel battling the counterinsurgency in Vietnam. Any success in the Cold War-birthed agency would be matched with defeats such as the failure of the Strategic Hamlet Program, Mind Control, Project Agile, and others. Their successes would be obscured as their work would be hijacked by senior agencies and military branches. But the work done by the unsung men and women would now be brought to light. The only question is, was their work for the greater good or the needs of the few?

The Imagineers of War can be seen as a companion read to Annie Jacobsen’s The Pentagon’s Brain. However, this book distinguishes itself by examining men such as William Godel, whose work has been scrubbed from official histories but still exists in the government ether. Their work had meaning even if their approach was flawed. This book lifts the veil on government secrecy when it comes to technological breakthroughs. A must-read in our evolving AI world.

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Sharon Weinberger
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 496 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2017-Mar-14
ISBN 9780385351799
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2017
Category Current Events & Politics
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