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This overlong book cries out for further pruning of both text and photos (including 32 featuring Moore, many of them head...

An authorized biography of the little-known chemist who helped create Silicon Valley.

Now a billionaire in his mid-80s, Gordon Moore earned his doctorate at Caltech, and in the 1950s and ’60s, he created and led two of the nation’s most influential technology firms, Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. He pioneered the chemical process for making transistors—the building bricks in microchips—which power everything in modern society from missiles and satellites to smartphones and other consumer technologies. In this admiring, richly detailed book, Chemical Heritage Foundation founding CEO Thackray (Atoms and Powers, 2013, etc.), electronics journalist Brock, and technology journalist Jones recount Moore’s life as “the master of transistor technology and the prophet of the microchip’s promise.” His “Moore’s Law,” posited 50 years ago, predicted accurately that computing power will double every two years. In contrast to many Silicon Valley moguls, Moore has long been a quiet, unpretentious figure who has eschewed wealth and fame and lived a practical life guided by facts, not feelings. Based largely on oral history transcripts, the authors tell Moore’s story from his childhood as a California sheriff’s son to his early work with physicist William Shockley to his tremendous success at Intel, where Andy Grove, his “interpreter, enforcer, and hatchet man,” helped him achieve his agenda. They portray a driven, intensely focused scientist and businessman who took comfort in his love of the outdoors and his conventional family life. The silicon transistor is “the object most crafted by humans.” By 1995, the 30th anniversary of Moore’s declaration of Moore’s Law, more than 70 million billion had been produced.

This overlong book cries out for further pruning of both text and photos (including 32 featuring Moore, many of them head shots), but techies will be delighted with its full treatment of an important figure often overshadowed by such luminaries as Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-465-05564-7

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Basic Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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