Long before Margaret O’Mara became a historian of the American-led digital revolution, she worked in the White House of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the earliest days of the commercial Internet. There she saw firsthand how deeply intertwined Silicon Valley was with the federal government, and how shallow the common understanding of the Valley’s success actually was.
O’Mara’s new book THE CODE: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, provides a tour of the foundation of the digital age and peels back the surprising stories of the mavericks and visionar¬ies of the tech boom. It also reveals how govern¬ment contracts and defense spending played an enormous role in building Silicon Valley, and how powerful institutions like the Pentagon and Stan¬ford University created a framework for innovation that allowed entrepreneurial juggernauts to rise.
Throughout, O’Mara is on the ground at all the key companies of the tech sector, wrestling with its politics and its relation to the larger cultural narrative about tech as it has evolved over the years.
The transformation of big tech into the engine room of the American economy and the nexus of so many of our hopes and dreams—and, increasingly, our night¬mares—can be understood in THE CODE.
Joining Margaret O’Mara on stage is Tom Kalil, who designed and launched national technology initiatives for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Veteran tech jour¬nalist John Markoff will guide the conversation.
This event will be streamed live on our Facebook page.
This event is produced by the Exponential Center @CHM. The Exponential Center captures the legacy—and advances the future—of entrepreneurship and innovation in Silicon Valley and around the world. The center explores the people, companies, and communities that are transforming the human experience through technology innovation, economic value creation, and social impact.
Computer History Museum
1401 N Shoreline Blve
Mountain View, CA, 94043