Summary of Inventing the Internet

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Inventing the Internet book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Janet Abbate exhaustively researched her scholarly history of the Internet and presents it with the detail and tone you would expect from a historian, which she is. Therefore, don’t come looking for a breezy, "gee whiz" approach. This is not a promotional pat on the back to the companies that helped popularize the Internet, nor does it glorify dot-coms or any of their fearless leaders. In fact, Abbate devotes the first 75% of her book to the precursor to the public Internet - the ARPANET system used by scientists, researchers and the U.S. military. We recommend this book to all readers who want to know how the Internet really came into existence and how it evolved from a private, secret, scientific resource into today’s vast realm of public information, auctions, virtual bookstores, e-mail and even

In this summary, you will learn

  • The history of the Internet and the development of its fundamental technologies, and
  • How the government, military and academia contributed to the creation of the Internet.

About the Author

Janet Abbate is a lecturer in the department of history at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Maryland.



The First Step: Computer Networks
Computers underwent a tremendous transformation between the 1960s and the 1980s. Originally conceived as an isolated calculating device, the computer was transformed into a communications device, a use that was inconceivable just a few years earlier. Today...

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