PositiveThe Wall Street JournalCondensing this range of stories into a compact narrative isn’t a task for the timid, but Margaret O’Mara has pulled off the feat with panache ... She distills voluminous monographs and biographies, newspaper articles and trade-industry publications, unpublished company materials and transcripts that she gleaned from various university archives into a briskly paced narrative. She also enlivens the book with the reflections of dozens of participants who played roles in the Valley early on, obtained through interviews she conducted and from oral histories collected by others .... tells the Valley’s story with a skeptical eye, capturing its unlikely blossoming without being caught up in its self-serving myths ... has little to say about the technical side of the history of information technology. When it does venture to offer a brief remark, it sometimes is a tad off ... a wise chronicle of the accretion and deployment of power and is especially sharp in tracking the Valley’s evolving relationship to Washington, D.C. By taking the long view, Ms. O’Mara provides us with the ability to see the roots of contemporary problems created by Silicon Valley’s rise.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn his latest book...Mr. Epstein makes a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts ... The chapter titled \'Deliberate Amateurs\' is a delight, permitting us to spend time with some exemplars in science and medicine who have stepped outside of their cozy professional nests ... as David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated.
PanThe Wall Street Journal...a book of mostly unrealized promise ... The book provides a ride that is not so much wild as short and jerky. It is part profile piece, giving Uber’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, a platform to spout gaseous nonsense, and part company history. But little is revealed about Uber’s inner workings that has not been reported in greater depth elsewhere by journalists covering the company for newspapers and tech blogs ... what [CEO] Mr. Kalanick shares with the author is laughably self-serving...Some of Mr. Lashinsky’s narrative can serve as an introduction to Uber’s founding. But whenever Mr. Kalanick, Uber’s pontificating 'warrior-philosopher-pioneer,' is given the wheel, Wild Ride takes us nowhere we want to go.