Silicon Valley's journey from obscurity to global powerhouse

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Tech-connected cities. Photo credit: Gerd Altmann/CC 2.0, via Pixabay

In the last 50 years, the tech industry has re-shaped communication, the economy, and political landscape in America. The captains of this industry -- Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates -- have become some of the richest people in history. 

It's all happened in Silicon Valley, a storied “High Tech Galapagos” where daring entrepreneurs found investors willing to roll the dice on new ventures, realized by technological whiz kids who work remotely and free of the government's influence. That’s the line Silicon Valley and its denizens have touted, anyway. 

Historian Margaret O’Mara says it’s self-serving myth that belies Silicon Valley’s humble beginnings as a remote Cold War research and development hub, and the deep ties it fostered with the US government.

Credits

Guest:
Margaret O’Mara - Professor of History at the University of Washington, and the author of “The Code: Silicon Valley and the re-making of America"

Host:
Barbara Bogaev

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Brian Hardzinski, Adriana Cargill, Devan Schwartz