Charged Bodies
People, Power, and Paradoxes That Launched Silicon Valley
By Thomas Mahon
Cover of the book "Charged Bodies" by Tom Mahon
40th Anniversary Edition

Charged Bodies

At the heart of Silicon Valley’s meteoric rise is a story etched in the lives of those who shaped it and those who were forever transformed by it. Charged Bodies provides an insider’s perspective on the birth of the semiconductor industry, which sparked the region’s transformation from sleepy farmland to the heart and soul of the high-tech revolution. Through twenty-five extended, in-person interviews you’ll meet a diverse cast of characters whose goal was to create technology and tools in service to humanity. In the Afterword to this edition, the author questions whether they accomplished their objectives and urges readers to rethink technology.

The book's delight lies in discovery of the fabric of Silicon Valley – how, why and who helped make those mere engineers into stars in America's celebrity firmament.
— Junko Yoshida
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Ojo-Yoshida Report
An indispensable Baedeker to Silicon Valley, especially for those of us who couldn’t tell an integrated circuit from a sequin. A really first-rate High Tech Without Tears.
— Christopher Buckley
American Author and Political Satirist
Charged Bodies should become necessary reading for anyone who expects to discuss the future of technology development anywhere including Silicon Valley.
— Lee Felsenstein
Engineer, Personal Computing Pioneer
The book may deliver more questions than answers, but it is a thought-provoking work, an indispensable read for those who care about the future of technology.
— Scott Mace
Technology Journalist
Read Chapter 24 (Afterword) first. You will then know why the book is worth your time to read. Then read the rest of the book that puts Silicon Valley in context.
— Vint Cerf
Internet pioneer, considered one of the “fathers of the internet”

Tom Mahon

Thomas Mahon was a documentary filmmaker when he was engaged to produce an industrial film for a computer company in 1974, the year the microprocessor was launched and began to change everything. Soon after, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and began a half-century career as an industry publicist while also writing about Silicon Valley as documentarian, novelist, playwright, essayist, and public speaker.

Photo of author, Tom Mahon
We’ve been lured into digital lobster traps: easy to enter, impossible to escape. Now what?
Turning Farmland into Silicon Valley Gold

Watch the compelling interview between podcaster Angela Romeo and Tom Mahon as he discusses his book Charged Bodies and the fascinating people who forged Silicon Valley. [1:23:24]

A Brief History of Silicon Valley

This short video [3:55] by John Coogan gives the bullet points of how "Silicon Valley" came into existence. Read Charged Bodies for the full, richly detailed story of the movers and shakers, tinkerers and dream makers who revolutionized academia, commerce, communication, medicine, travel, and life itself.

read the full story

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