Fascinating . . . the story Dyson tells is intensely human, a tale of teamwork over many years and all the harmonies and rows that involves (Jenny Uglow )
This wide-ranging and lyrical work is an important addition to the literature of the history of computing (Economist )
A beautiful example of technological storytelling . . . much more than a chronicle of engineering progress: it includes fascinating digressions into the history and physics of nuclear weapons, the fundamentals of mathematical logic, the mathematical insights of Hobbes and Leibniz, the history of weather forecasting, Nils Barricelli's pioneering work on artificial life and lots of other interesting stuff (John Naughton Observer )
It is a joy to read George Dyson's revelation of the very human story of the invention of the electronic computer, which he tells with wit, authority, and insight. Read Turing's Cathedral as both the origin story of our digital universe and as a preceptive glimpse into its future (W. Daniel Hillis )
At long last George Dyson delivers the untold story of software's creation. It is an amazing tale brilliantly deciphered (Kevin Kelly )
The world he re-creates will enthral scientific romantics . . . an entertaining starting point for anyone wanting to understand how Turing's astonishing ideas became a reality, and how they continue to shape the world we live in today (The Sunday Times )
An engrossing and well-researched book that recounts an important chapter in the history of 20th-century computing (Evgeny Morozov Observer )
Rich in historical insight . . . a timely reminder of why we should care about computers and the endless possibilities they hold (The Times )
How did computers take over the world? In late 1945, a small group of brilliant engineers and mathematicians gathered at the newly created Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Their ostensible goal was to build a computer which would be instrumental in the US government's race to create a hydrogen bomb. The mathematicians themselves, however, saw their project as the realization of Alan Turing's theoretical 'universal machine.'
In Turing's Cathedral, George Dyson vividly re-creates the intense experimentation, incredible mathematical insight and pure creative genius that led to the dawn of the digital universe, uncovering a wealth of new material to bring a human story of extraordinary men and women and their ideas to life. From the lowliest iPhone app to Google's sprawling metazoan codes, we now live in a world of self-replicating numbers and self-reproducing machines whose origins go back to a 5-kilobyte matrix that still holds clues as to what may lie ahead.