The Imagineers of War:

The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World

  • Runtime: 16.7 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 3.14.2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Genre: Nonfiction/History
  • 16.71 hrs3/14/2017Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 9781524752392
The definitive history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that has quietly shaped war and technology for nearly sixty years.

Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, the agency’s original mission was to create “the unimagined weapons of the future.” Over the decades, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that extend well beyond military technology. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA’s successes and failures, its remarkable innovations, and its wild-eyed schemes. We see how the threat of nuclear Armageddon sparked investment in computer networking, leading to the Internet, as well as to a proposal to power a missile-destroying particle beam by draining the Great Lakes. We learn how DARPA was responsible during the Vietnam War for both Agent Orange and the development of the world’s first armed drones, and how after 9/11 the agency sparked a national controversy over surveillance with its data-mining research. And we see how DARPA’s success with self-driving cars was followed by disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Weinberger has interviewed more than one hundred former Pentagon officials and scientists involved in DARPA’s projects—many of whom have never spoken publicly about their work with the agency—and pored over countless declassified records from archives around the country, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and exclusive materials provided by sources. The Imagineers of War is a compelling and groundbreaking history in which science, technology, and politics collide.

Editorial Reviews

—Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign AffairsHer account is critical but not mocking...a well-researched contribution to the history of U.S. military technology."From the Internet of today to the robots of tomorrow, DARPA has shaped not just the technology of war, but our day to day lives. Sharon Weinberger's The Imagineers of War lays out its untold history in an easy and informative read, along the way, reshaping the way you will look at events that range from the Vietnam War to the War on Terror.P.W. Singer, author of Ghost Fleet and Wired for WarThey are the wizards of war, the faceless scientists who fight the battles of the future in lab coats instead of body armor, turning insects into remote control cyborgs and designing warships without crews.  In her new book, Sharon Weinberger has placed one of the government’s most secret laboratories, DARPA, under an electron microscope and discovered a world far beyond anyone’s imagination.James Bamford, bestselling author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA, from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America

Reader Biography

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards. Her recordings for Blackstone include Skinny Bastard, The Art of Social War, and The Cheater.

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