Download Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age Audiobook

Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age Audiobook, by Michael A. Hiltzik Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Michael A. Hiltzik Narrator: Forrest Sawyer Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2005 ISBN: 9780061127458
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Dealers of Lightning is the riveting story of the legendary Xerox PARC'a collection of eccentric young inventors brought together by Xerox Corporation at a facility in Palo Alto, California, during the mind-blowing intellectual ferment of the seventies and eighties. Here for the first time is revealed in piercing detail the true story of the extraordinary group that aimed to bring about a technological dawn that would change the world'and succeeded.

Based on extensive interviews with the scientists, engineers, administrators, and corporate executives who lived the story, Dealers of Lightning takes the listener on a journey from PARC's beginnings in a dusty, abandoned building at the edge of the Stanford University campus to its triumph as a hothouse of ideas that spawned not only the first personal computer, but the windows-style graphical user interface, the laser printer, much of the indispensable technology of the Internet, and a great deal more.

It shows how and why Xerox, despite its willingness to grant PARC unlimited funding and the responsibility for developing breakthroughs to keep the corporation on the cutting edge of office technology, remained forever unable to grasp (and, consequently, exploit) the innovations that PARC delivered'and details the increasing frustration of the original PARC scientists, many of whom would go on to build their fortunes upon the very ideas Xerox so rashly discarded.

More than just a fascinating historical narrative, Dealers of Lighting brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters. It is an unprecedented look at the ideas, the inventions and the individuals that propelled Xerox PARC to the frontier of technohistory'and the corporate machinations that almost prevented it from achieving greatness.

Forrest Sawyer reads.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] amazing tale...Hiltzik’s writing is confident and strong...[and] offers a gem of a story that has never before been so well told.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This is a top-notch business page-turner. Unburdened by any gee-whiz jaw-dropping, yet fully appreciative of the power of creative minds, it is informed by a sure understanding of the complex relationship between business and technology.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Read this book. A treat for anyone with even a passing interest in the origins of today’s siliconized culture.”


  • “A veritable ripsnorter...a great read that’s also a must read.”

    Business 2.0

  • “Hiltzik’s consummate account of this burgeoning era give[s] credit where credit is due. Recommended.” editorial review

  • “The legend of early Xerox PARC was a great morality tale of corporate misuse of ‘creatives’ and the new world they unleashed anyway. The true story is better still.”

    Stewart Brand, director, Global Business Network 

  • “Hiltzik focuses on the human dimensions of the story, taking full advantage of the rich cast of characters involved in earth-shaking developments. A compulsively readable account of perhaps the most important technological undertaking since the Manhattan Project. Highly recommended.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Michael A. Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times. In 2004, he won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in American financial journalism. Hiltzik is the author of Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age and A Death in Kenya. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two sons.

About the Narrator

Forrest Sawyer has had a diverse career, first as one of America’s most respected television journalists, and more recently as an entrepreneur in innovative health care. Mr. Sawyer is today an advisor and board member of Edison Pharmaceuticals and a co-founder of Ampere Life Sciences, a company developing medical and functional foods targeting antioxidant deficiencies. In addition to unique research and development programs, both companies are building innovative communication platforms. As a journalist, Mr. Sawyer has over twenty-four years of experience reporting from around the world. He is a veteran of ABC, CBS, and MSNBC. He has anchored the ABC magazine programs Day One and Turning Point, as well as World News Sunday, and Good Morning America. For a decade Mr. Sawyer was the primary replacement anchor on ABC’s Nightline.