Endless Frontier

Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century

Endless Frontier

A prodigiously researched biography of Vannevar Bush, one of America’s most awe-inspiring polymaths and the secret force behind the biggest technological breakthroughs of the twentieth century.

As the inventor and public entrepreneur who launched the Manhattan Project, helped to create the military-industrial complex, conceived a permanent system of government support for science and engineering, and anticipated both the personal computer and the Internet, Vannevar Bush is the twentieth century’s Ben Franklin.

In this engaging look at one of America’s most awe-inspiring polymaths, writer G. Pascal Zachary brings to life an American original—a man of his time, ours, and beyond. Zachary details how Bush cofounded Raytheon and helped build one of the most powerful early computers in the world at MIT. During World War II, he served as Roosevelt’s adviser and chief contact on all matters of military technology, including the atomic bomb. He launched the Manhattan Project and oversaw a collection of 6,000 civilian scientists who designed scores of new weapons. After the war, his attention turned to the future. He wrote essays that anticipated the rise of the Internet and boldly equated national security with research strength, outlining a system of permanent federal funding for university research that endures to this day.

However, Bush’s hopeful vision of science and technology was leavened by an understanding of the darker possibilities. While cheering after witnessing the Trinity atomic test, he warned against the perils of a nuclear arms race. He led a secret appeal to convince President Truman not to test the Hydrogen Bomb and campaigned against the Red Scare.

Elegantly and expertly relayed by Zachary, Vannevar’s story is a grand tour of the digital leviathan we know as the modern American life.
  • Free Press | 
  • 560 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501196454 | 
  • January 2018
List Price $27.00 (price may vary by retailer)

Read an Excerpt


To download a file to your computer right-click on the link and choose 'save file as'

High Resolution Images

Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit

More Books from this Author

A tender and charming account of a marriage and a fascinating look at how two people come to know each other across culture and race.

G. Pascal Zachary is a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal when he finds love in, of all places, the zoo in Accra, Ghana. That is where he meets Chizo Okon, the surrogate mother for an orphaned chimpanzee. In Married to Africa, Zachary tells their warm and humorous story, which is as much about the marriage of two cultures as it...

About the Author

G. Pascal Zachary
Photo Credit:

G. Pascal Zachary

G. Pascal Zachary is a professor of practice at Arizona State University, where he teaches on the history and future of innovation, technological change and science in society. Endless Frontier won the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers’ first literary award. He is also the author of Showstopper, on the making of a software program, and The Diversity Advantage: Multicultural Identity in the New World Economy.