Yost Author on Computer 3rd Edition
Charles Babbage Institute

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Yost an Author on Computer (Third Edition)

Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan Ensmenger, and CBI associate director Jeffrey Yost authored the third edition of Computer: A History of the Information Machine, which was published in July 2013 (Westview Press).  The first edition, written by Campbell-Kelly and Aspray, was published in 1996 by Basic Books (Perseus Books Group).  The book, part of the Sloan Technology Series, has sold more than 35,000 copies and has become a true classic as a scholarly, but highly accessible, survey of computer and software history.  Computer quickly became the most commonly used textbook for computer history courses, and has also been used in a number of other information technology-related courses nationally and internationally. Campbell-Kelly and Aspray published the second edition with Westview Press (the textbook imprint of Perseus Books Group) in 2004.

At the time of the first edition of Computer, the World Wide Web was in its infancy and the first commercial Web browsers were less than two years old.  Fewer than one-fifth of Americans had cell phones and most of these people used these devices solely for making and receiving calls.  Obviously, computer technology has rapidly evolved since then (and even since the second edition).  Over this period, historical scholarship on computing has also gained momentum with a growing scale and scope of books and articles every year.  Approaches to computer history have changed markedly in recent years—with scholars giving ever more attention to the social, cultural, and business history of computing, and to the experiences of users.  To harness new perspectives, Campbell-Kelly and Aspray invited Ensmenger and Yost to join them as authors for the third edition. 

In addition to carefully updating all aspects of the third edition to reflect current literature, understandings, and contexts, the authors have added extensive new material on the history of the programming profession, social networking, and mobile computing.  The third edition also expands coverage on the evolving IT industry with discussion on the rise of Google and Facebook, and how powerful applications are changing the way we work, consume, learn, and socialize.  As such, the extensively revised third edition stands to expand its range of classroom use (in history, sociology, political science, science and technology studies, and other academic departments as well as in information schools, business schools, and law schools) and to introduce a new generation of students and other interested individuals to the history of computers, software, and networking.  The book is available from Amazon.com at <http://www.amazon.com/Computer-History-Information-Machine-Technology/dp/0813345901>.


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