ISBN 9781846148538,How We Got to Now: The History and Power of Great Ideas

How We Got to Now: The History and Power of Great Ideas


Penguin Books



Penguin Books

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9781846148538

ISBN-10 1846148537


Number of Pages 352 Pages
Language (English)

Literature fiction

From Steven Johnson, the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now,the companion book to his six-part TV series, which tracks the surprising inspirations and unexpected consequences of the most influential innovations.

How did the advent of frozen TV dinners help give birth to at least four million babies? And what about our battle against dirt? How did that create the flat screen and the iPhone?

This book is a celebration of ideas: how they happen and their sometimes unintended results. Johnson shows how simple scientific breakthroughs have driven other discoveries through the network of ideas and innovations that made each finding possible. He traces important inventions through ancient and contemporary history, unlocking tales of unsung heroes and radical revolutions that changed the world and the way we live in it.

Praise for Where Good Ideas Come From:

'Stimulating and insightful . . . a huge diversity of bright ideas' Financial Times

'Exhilarating, idea-thirsty, full of intriguing facts' Sunday Times

Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal