American Computer Pioneers (Collective Biographies)
||Author: Mary Northrup|
List Price: $20.95
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Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Inc. (July, 1998)
Edition: Library Binding
Sales Rank: 365,269
Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Biographies of heroes that make a difference
Whatever else you may think of him, Bill Gates has developed star power comparable to that normally reserved for athletes or rock stars. It is refreshing to see individuals like Gates and Steve Jobs being treated as heroes to be emulated rather than as geeks to be ridiculed. However, there is still so much that can be done in the computing field, that no one, not even the experts, really has a clue what directions computers will take us.
With so much untapped potential, it is necessary for young people to be exposed to the field as soon as possible. This book, a collection of short biographies of ten of the dominant personalities in the history of American computing, is written for the late elementary or very early middle school child. While their lives are not explored in great depth, there is enough to give the children a sense of what they accomplished and why it is important.
While one can hardly quibble that each person selected certainly deserves to be included in this book, I firmly believe that no collection is complete without a reference to John Atanasoff. Unfortunately, the author chose not to include a biography of him. Other than that, the book is an excellent choice for school libraries and research projects.
This is a book about some of the real heroes of our society, people whose accomplishments will matter decades from now. It is clear that some children who read it today will find their biographies in similar works in a half-century or so.