If you're looking for beautiful writing and love history ... this is a lovely read that takes you through a history of American politics and campaigning, cold war intrigue and artificial intelligence.
Jill Lepore is the pre-eminent historian of forgotten tales from America's past that throw startling light on the present. This brilliant book illuminates the future too. The story of the original data science hucksters of the 1960s is hilarious, scathing and sobering - what you might get if you crossed Mad Men with Theranos.
A person can't help but feel inspired by the riveting intelligence and joyful curiosity of Jill Lepore. Knowing that there is a mind like hers in the world is a hope-inducing thing.
Jill Lepore writes history like a poet. In If Then she yet again binds lyrical story telling to meticulous archival research to tell a gigantic story from our past. She builds our present, and makes it feel so familiar and yet so contingent.
Two things make this tale worth reading. One is Lepore's brisk and confident depiction of the individuals involved...the other is her exploration of the growing power of computers to accumulate and analyse data, bringing marketing and politics into ever closer union.
Beautifully written and intellectually rigorous account of the origins of the science of predictive analytics and behavioral data science in the cold war era.
Everything Lepore writes is distinguished by intelligence, eloquence, and fresh insight. If Then is that, and even more: It's absolutely fascinating, excavating a piece of little-known American corporate history that reveals a huge amount about the way we live today and the companies that define the modern era.
A wonderfully written history of long-forgotten computer group Simulmatics.
Lepore is a brilliant writer. It's a dream to read.