Pop Quiz: The History of the Internet


Like a proud citizen of the United States who appreciates the history of this great country, any devotee of the Internet is going to be all over any details about how this massive global system of interconnected computer networks came to be.

When we talk about the Internet, after all, we’re talking about a real live revolution, an extraordinary technological development that has radically and rapidly transformed our lives.

The Internet’s origins have been chronicled elsewhere, of course, but perhaps nowhere quite like it was in this past July’s issue of Vanity Fair. Letting those who made it happen (people such as Paul Baran, Robert Metcalfe, Jeffrey Bezos, Craig Newmark and Dave Winer) actually tell the story, the magazine’s Keenan Mayo and Peter Newcomb compiled a rich, detailed history of the Internet that is as much insightful as it is inspirational…


“To observe this year’s twin anniversaries, Vanity Fair set out to do something that has never been done: to compile an oral history, speaking with scores of people involved in every stage of the Internet’s development, from the 1950s onward. From more than 100 hours of interviews we have distilled and edited their words into a concise narrative of the past half-century—a history of the Internet in the words of the people who made it.”

So what if you or I had to take a quiz tomorrow on the history of the Internet?  Well, thanks to this article in Vanity Fair and the fact that we’re not exactly talking ancient history, there’s probably not much of an excuse for any of us here in the blogosphere to receive less than high marks.

To read “How the Web Was Won: An Oral History of the Internet” by Keenan Mayo and Peter Newcomb in the July 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, click here.

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