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The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise (History of Computing)
The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise (History of Computing)

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Manufacturer: The MIT Press
Publisher: The MIT Press
Author(s): Nathan L. Ensmenger

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Product Description:
Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780262517966
ISBN: 0262517965
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: The MIT Press
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: The MIT Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 2012-08-17
Publisher: The MIT Press
Studio: The MIT Press
Editorial Review:

The contentious history of the computer programmers who developed the software that made the computer revolution possible.

This is a book about the computer revolution of the mid-twentieth century and the people who made it possible. Unlike most histories of computing, it is not a book about machines, inventors, or entrepreneurs. Instead, it tells the story of the vast but largely anonymous legions of computer specialists -- programmers, systems analysts, and other software developers -- who transformed the electronic computer from a scientific curiosity into the defining technology of the modern era. As the systems that they built became increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, these specialists became the focus of a series of critiques of the social and organizational impact of electronic computing. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the "computer boys" were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general.

In The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan Ensmenger traces the rise to power of the computer expert in modern American society. His rich and nuanced portrayal of the men and women (a surprising number of the "computer boys" were, in fact, female) who built their careers around the novel technology of electronic computing explores issues of power, identity, and expertise that have only become more significant in our increasingly computerized society.

In his recasting of the drama of the computer revolution through the eyes of its principle revolutionaries, Ensmenger reminds us that the computerization of modern society was not an inevitable process driven by impersonal technological or economic imperatives, but was rather a creative, contentious, and above all, fundamentally human development.


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