Secondary title: "The invention of the transistor and the birth of the information age"

The invention of the semiconductor-based transistor in 1947 is certainly one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the 20th century, giving birth to modern computers and the communication revolution, among other effects.

In this book the authors provide a semi-biographic history of the transistor, focusing on the technologies behind it as well as on the persons responsible for its discovery - Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley. It's written well and easy to read - even though the text gets somewhat technical at times. After all, it's pretty hard to explain how transistors work without getting into technical details. I personally felt a little bit dissatisfied with the level of detail the authors went into - some things weren't explained well enough and I had to look up topics in Wikipedia from time to time. And this having finished Electrical Engineering, with courses in semiconductors and analog circuits.

I'm not sure how interesting this book can be for people with absolutely no understanding in electronics. Perhaps the authors could have made it easier by providing a brief introductory explanation of P-N junctions (at least in the Appendix). All in all it's still a good, enjoyable reading.