Book cover
The Information
A history, a theory, a flood.
James Gleick

It’s hard to overstate how excellent this book is. I’ve read a lot of Gleick, starting with Chaos when I was 17 years old. That book was formative for me. It made me want to be a writer, and to learn how to explain complex things beautifully.

I am a professional computer programmer, and so I have a decent background in the material covered by this book. I know Shannon’s work. I’ve read extensively about Turing and Babbage. And I’ve tried (and often failed) to find more to read about Lovelace. But still, even though nothing in this book was entirely unknown to me, I found it endlessly fascinating, and honestly even moving. Gleick is such a master of this kind of work. He pulls you in, fills your mind with ideas, and shows you why it matters.

This is a beautiful, informative, masterfully written book.