The Origins of the Internet

Tommaso Detti, Giuseppe Lauricella
Translated by Anna Di Biase and Nick Dines
Collana: Viella Historical Research, 6
Pubblicazione: Luglio 2017
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pp. 179, 15,5x23 cm, hardback
ISBN: 9788867288700
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From 1995 to the present day the number of Internet users has increased from 16 million to 3.7 billion. What are the reasons for such an extraordinary success? This book reconstructs the origins of the Internet from the period following the Second World War to the dissemination of the World Wide Web. It not only considers the technological innovations but also explores the cultural, social and political contexts in which the net developed.
The authors interpret the evolution of the “network of networks” as a process in which, at each stage, the solutions devised by its creators were the most functional to their needs and the most suitable to the times in which they operated. Despite its military origins, it was the users themselves who built the net: a community of researchers, for the most part academics, whose goal was the advancement of knowledge. As a result, and particularly with the advent of email at the beginning of the 1970s, the web was endowed with user-oriented features that continue to characterise it today.

  • Introduction
    • Internet, the Web and Contemporary Globalization
    • Toward a History of the Net
  • 1. Baran and Davies: Spanning the Atlantic
    • The Sputnik Challenge
    • Baran
    • From Radars to the Net via the Brain
    • Davies
    • Time-Sharing
  • 2. Joseph C.R. Licklider
    • The Birth of the Information Processing Techniques Office
    • Psychoacoustics and Networks
    • “Man-Computer Symbiosis”
    • Libraries of the Future
  • 3. The ipto from Licklider to Taylor
    • An “Intergalactic Network”
    • Time-Sharing at the ipto
    • Graphics and “Dynamic Modeling”
    • From Sutherland to Taylor
  • 4. Roberts and the Others: Building the Network
    • Closing the Circle
    • A Collaborative Project
    • The Birth and Early Development of the Network
    • Research and Politics during the Vietnam Years
    • Email
    • “The Computer as a Communication Device:” Networks and Mental Models
  • 5. Epilogue
    • From Arpanet to Internet
    • PC, Networks and Protocols
    • Uniforms and Sneakers
    • The “Protocols War”
    • Governance of the Network
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Index

Edizione originale: Le origini di internet, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2013

Tommaso Detti

Tommaso Detti ha insegnato Storia contemporanea presso l’Università di Siena. Tra le sue pubblicazioni più recenti ricordiamo, scritta con Giovanni Gozzini, l’opera in due volumi Storia contemporanea (vol. 1: L’Ottocento; vol. 2: Il Novecento) per i tipi di Pearson Italia (2016-17).

Giuseppe Lauricella

Giuseppe Lauricella is a researcher at the University of Siena specialised in the development of web tools in the field of digital humanities.

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