The Pentagon's Brain

The Pentagon s Brain The definitive history of DARPA the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department s

  • Title: The Pentagon's Brain
  • Author: AnnieJacobsen
  • ISBN: 9780316371766
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department s most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science RD agency In the first ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie JThe definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department s most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science RD agency In the first ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or the Pentagon s brain, from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.This is the book on DARPA a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

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      Published :2019-02-04T05:53:28+00:00

    1 thought on “The Pentagon's Brain”

    1. What a ridiculous book. For the first 150 pages, I was completely hooked. The material was interesting and seemed well researched. The author had some opinions or drew some conclusions that I was slightly skeptical of, but they were fairly clearly labeled as opinions, so that was fine with me. Unfortunately, as I got deeper into the book, I started to see some errors with concepts I was quite familiar with already. First of all, she refers to a bombsight as a "bombsite." Bombsite doesn't even ap [...]

    2. I know that Mark Twain said, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." However, I cannot find who first said, "Never let the details ruin a good story." There is not a word in the English language to describe how overly verbose this lady is. The DARPA technology really started getting interesting post 9/11 but she absolutely ruined it with unnecessary details about uninteresting people, places and things. Reading this book was like writing a paper in college. I would find housework t [...]

    3. If you’re familiar with the history of the computer industry, you’re no doubt aware that the Internet was conceived and developed by a U.S. Government agency called DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).You may also know that the same agency invented GPS, the Global Positioning System. Chances are, though, that you don’t know that DARPA also invented drones both big and tiny, Agent Orange, the M16 Assault Rifle, sophisticated sensor technology, the F117A stealth fighter jet [...]

    4. This is a terribly biased (Hollywood/LA Times)version of the amazing stories of ARPA/DARPA achievements and their influences on our world. Most of the stuff in here is well known. I was even involved in some of them. But the whole book is laced with the author's storytelling speculation and extreme liberal bias. Page after page of "ain't it awful". When scientists and engineers push the bounds of knowledge as DARPA still does, there are mistakes. It's always a brave new world. But thank God they [...]

    5. I got this free is a drawing from First Reads.I've always said that I'm more afraid of what the government doesn't tell us than what they do. This book just reiterates that. I found myself saying what are you kidding me many times while reading this. The crowd control ideas was one of those times. Lasers and drones are examined to an extent with some of that information being still classified so then of course the whole story can't be given. The polio vaccine problem I had never heard of before [...]

    6. very well researched and written. the flow was great and it didn't get dry and boring. Annie did an amazing job of telling a story while educating you on a fascinating subject. superbly done. I highly recommend this book.

    7. THE PENTAGON’S BRAIN: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency. (2015), Annie Jacobsen. ***1/2.The author was right; it was (and is) a top secret agency. I’ve never heard of it. Of course, with all of the acronyms floating around in this study, I might have heard of it, but forgot it. Acronyms are a funny thing. Usually, the government assigns them in the hopes that the next congressman who hears them will not remember what they stand for. For example, [...]

    8. It's highly biased to IPTO (Info. Proc. Techniques Off.). She does not provide or even consider an Org chart. In this respect James Bamford's Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century (she uses as a reference however flawed) is a better organized book (even if of a different agency). It's not the first attempt of a DARPA history. Alex Rolland was commissioned to try that (at least cited in the references). Not one wo [...]

    9. Good overview of various DARPA initiatives, starting with the pre-DARPA Manhattan Project, the gadgets and social science employed in Vietnam, modern network centric warfare, etc. The discussion of artificial intelligence towards the end of the book was particularly enjoyable.Suffers from some discontinuity, but I suppose that's to be expected when trying to tell the history of an ultra secret government organization.

    10. This is a history book?!? I gave five stars to a history book?!? I have only ever been really impressed with one other history book before but this one beats them all. While providing the detailed history of DARPA, this tome brings the various events to life while capturing the reader's interest with amazing details that are almost unbelievable. Each section held amazing information such as the hydrogen bomb information in the first section and the three foot cement walls that warbled like jello [...]

    11. I remember picking up Jacobsen's Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, thinking, this should be good for a laugh Instead, it was a frightening insight into what may have been occurring for the past 70-odd years at the secretive base. I was hooked.So then I saw she'd put out another book. And this one scared the living shit out of me. I know others are complaining about whether this was fully fact-checked (though she goes to reasonable lengths to quote sources), an [...]

    12. A lot of books have come out about DARPA with a lot of emphasis on the great technologies and breakthroughs pioneered by this wing of the Pentagon. This is great but we need to be reminded that the Qs of the world make gadgets for agents with licenses to kill. The main objective of all this technology is primarily to serve on the battlefield. That is what it is for. As always there are wonderful spin offs for civilian life but the author doesn't let us forget the primary objective of DARPA is ba [...]

    13. Repetitive. Lackadaisically edited. Could have been 200-300 pages shorter. Could have been interesting. Reads like it was written for a dozen or more magazine articles different magazines. Admittedly though, it does speak about some projects in AI and bioengineering that are pretty darn disturbing to think about in a moral, ethical and humanitarian sense.

    14. Oh, this book is crazy! The good, bad, and amazing things that have come from out Nation's obsession of not wanting to get left behind from another "Sputnik" event. I was thrilled, enthralled, and horrified by listening to this book. Yet the most funny part is when Jacobson talks about when Chris Carter (developer and creator of the X-Files) and Gale Anne Hurd (creator and writer of the Terminator franchise) visited the Pentagon and the DARPA offices there. Of the government official who had the [...]

    15. I love NF on "relevant history", such as Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA and The Pentagon's Brain - recent events that are going on behind the scenes in my own country. What always makes me hesitate to read them is the political persuasion of the author. I have zero tolerance for bashing. I'm beyond over it.The Pentagon's Brain is not a scathing indictment of either the right's or the left's exploitation of the federal money machine to conduct grand military experiments in third world co [...]

    16. ~9h @ 2x. Contents:(view spoiler)[Jacobsen A (2015) (18:22) Pentagon's Brain, The - An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research AgencyDedicationEpigraphProloguePart I: The Cold War01. The Evil Thing02. War Games and Computing Machines03. Vast Weapons Systems of the Future04. Emergency Plans05. Sixteen Hundred Seconds Until Doomsday06. Psychological OperationsPart II: The Vietnam War07. Techniques and Gadgets08. RAND and COIN09. Command and Control10. Motivation and Mor [...]

    17. To write a book like this required a ton of research and interviewing people and I give the author a ton of credit. Each chapter highlights a significant period of American military history from the 1950s to today, and she did a great job. The problem for me is, I'm just not that interested in every single conflict she wrote about. Nevertheless there were some very interesting chapters and I learned a lot about the people behind DARPA which ultimately aim to keep our country safe.

    18. 4/5 stars'Pentagon's Brain' is a 2016 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. I found it to be an enjoyable read. The part that I enjoyed most about this book was the 'factoids'. It seemed like I was highlighting some interesting tidbit on every few pages. If anything, those are worth checking out (see below). DARPA has been the driving force behind some of the most revolutionary concepts in civilian life and the battlefield. There's no telling what they are working on presentlyCOMPETITION S [...]

    19. Use any adjective that beats UNBELIEVEABLE. I'll use the word Mind blowing. It's hard to believe that this is public information. DARPA is our government's top research/engineering company. Much of its information is classifiedis book tells everything but the classified information. At times it's technical, but most of the book is very reader friendly. If only reading one chapter, read chapter 24 entitled "Drone Wars". You will think this has to be sci-fi as you read about the insect-drone proto [...]

    20. The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency, is original, provocative, and unforgettable. Starting with the nuclear device Castle Bravo, to the biomedical engineering of limb regeneration, Annie Jacobsen takes us behind-the-scenes to show what military technology is really doing. As a history book, this book was far from boring. Jacobsen's writing is fluid and nothing like the writing in textbooks. The topics outlined in the book are very i [...]

    21. There was times thatThe Pentagon's Brainwas highly engrossing and other times it was plain dull. The book seems to be well-researched but the author seems to let their own verbiage and point get in the way of the storytelling. Other reviews complaining it could have been cut down in terms of words/pages is accurate to a point.I think the biggest problem this book suffers from (after being published in 2015) is most of the issues covered here have already been covered in-depth better elsewhere. C [...]

    22. Highly recommended. No doubt, it's a long read packed full of information and it will take you a while to finish. But every time you pick up the book, you'll be happy you did. The author does a good job at delivering the facts, allowing you to form your own opinions. When I first got the book my biggest fear was that it would bolster conspiracy theories. It does the opposite, it provides available information on R&D efforts since and including the hydrogen bomb and every fact or story is wel [...]

    23. Well-researched and well-organized history of DARPA (at least all the history that is de-classified, which probably is only the tip of the iceberg). Something people should read. This is the cutting edge of the military-industrial complex science and both interesting and terrifying. The fact that what is covered here is only the bits that are public knowledge is stupefying. Considering the dangers of the advances they are likely toying with, I have a feeling that if AI (and eventually super-AI) [...]

    24. A journalistic, anecdotal and very wideranging collection of more or less well-known stories about the wide variety of projects DARPA has been involved in. From nuclear war to Afghanistan the US desire not to be strategically surprised by technology has driven enormous investments and fed a large industry of researchers, consultants etc. As an introduction to this side of the military industrial complex the book is a good introduction, but it abstains from a more critical structured evaluation o [...]

    25. Engrossing, Partly a History on DARPA, what they've achieved, GPS, the Internet, Agent Organge, partially speculation on what they are doing at the moment, all classified, but speculation regarding creating hunter-killer robots, author comes down on the side of Eisenhower, that there is too much industrial complex. With DARPA it seems they believe, what is good for General Dynamics is good for America.

    26. There are a few neat tidbits in this book that I haven't seen elsewhere. But the whole thing reads like Jacobson got ahold of just a few declassified documents and is trying to stretch them as far as she can. Full disclosure: I bailed about 100 pages in.

    27. I liked this book. The writer had an interesting first-person style. I did feel occasionally bored and had to power through certain sections. I will look at reading another of her books.

    28. Reality can be infinitely more terrifying than any fiction, as journalist Annie Jacobsen confirms in her history of the all too often secret alliance between scientists and the U.S. military, The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Military Research Agency. Much of what Jacobsen’s book reads like science fiction. Except for the parts that have already come true.As she notes, “In interviewing former DARPA scientists for this book, I learned that at any g [...]

    29. I listened to the audiobook while traveling 32 hours (door-to-door) from Africa to the U.S. The audio, narrated by the author, was over 18 hours and never failed to put me to sleep. Bulging with fascinating details, it lulled me to sleep with all its names and acronyms at times, but kept me awake other times. The beginning is an amazing account of the hydrogen bomb that made me wonder about the after-effects in the islands decades later. I recommend the book over an audiobook unless you have a g [...]

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