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

MOORE'S LAW

THE LIFE OF GORDON MOORE, SILICON VALLEY'S QUIET REVOLUTIONARY

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

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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

NIGHT

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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