Woodbury's lay survey of the industrial roles of automation dev- roughly speaking- concerns those machines able not only to perform useful functions, but those able also to regulate, adapt and reconstitute their own operations as the need arises. Automation could be described as the science of machines employing judgment and a form of introspection. Woodbury somewhat cavalierly celebrates the passing of a society bound to the management of its own mechanical creations to a society where machines run themselves. The benefits include already staggering progress in speed and uniformity of product, quality (for example, precise thickness of steel), and ever- lowering costs. In shoe manufacture, oil refining, beer making, and in the infinity of modern clerical tasks, from bank deposits to business inventories, the magic of automation has begun to preside over American industry like an electronic god. The technical intrites of how all this is done appear sometimes as delightfully obvious as a wave of the but the feedback principle and the masterful ingenuity of certain ""automaters"" the book a touch of sophistication. Glib, enthusiastic, fascinating, this is a cut above Time, a cut below Scientific American. Men and boys will gravitate.