G. Pascal Zachary has selected, organized, and presented a masterful collection of Vannevar Bush's thinking about information systems, organizational dynamics, weapons of war, the future of computing, potential benefits of the Great Depression, the space race, solar energy, and the elimination of drudgery, as well as his high regard for the duck and his wonder at the mysteries of the silkworm. Zachary's notes before each of the fifty-six selections provide context and insight. They could stand alone as a superb essay on Bush's life and career.

Several themes suggest themselves in these readings. One is that Bush's perspective was that of a successful meritocrat, with the contributions and limits of that historically important culture. In the introduction, Zachary notes that Bush's pronouns are invariably masculine. The habit jumps out to a modern reader, but the anachronism is more than a generational quarrel over antecedents. In considering the leadership of the...

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