Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening Apple Books.If Apple Books doesn't open, click the Books app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

A Mind at Play

How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Winner of the Neumann Prize for the History of Mathematics

**Named a best book of the year by Bloomberg and Nature**

**'Best of 2017' by The Morning Sun**

"We owe Claude Shannon a lot, and Soni & Goodman’s book takes a big first step in paying that debt." —San Francisco Review of Books

"Soni and Goodman are at their best when they invoke the wonder an idea can instill. They summon the right level of awe while stopping short of hyperbole." —Financial Times

"Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman make a convincing case for their subtitle while reminding us that Shannon never made this claim himself." —The Wall Street Journal

"Soni and Goodman have done their research...A Mind at Play reveals the remarkable human behind some of the most important theoretical and practical contributions to the information age." —Nature

"A Mind at Play shows us that you don't need to be a genius to learn from a genius. Claude Shannon's inventive, vibrant life demonstrates how vital the act of play can be to making the most of work." —Inc.

“A charming account of one of the twentieth century’s most distinguished scientists…Readers will enjoy this portrait of a modern-day Da Vinci.” —Fortune

In their second collaboration, biographers Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman present the story of Claude Shannon—one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century and the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. With unique access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and always playful genius to life.

From Publishers Weekly

May 01, 2017 – A key figure in the development of digital technology has his achievements, if not his personality, burnished in this enlightening biography. Journalists Soni and Goodman, authors of Rome's Last Citizen, explore Claude Shannon's breakthroughs as a scientist at MIT and Bell Labs in the 1930s and '40s in electronics and telecommunications. His noteworthy discoveries include a way to rationally design circuits using Boolean algebra, and information theory, which understands communications as bits and shows how to compress them and remove noise methods that underlie DVDs, the Internet, and much else. The authors' rundown of the science behind these advances, probing everything from the structure of language to the transatlantic telegraph, is lucid and fascinating. Unfortunately, Shannon's retiring demeanor and uneventful life don't make for a dramatic narrative. The authors' interpretation that Shannon's mental "playfulness" stimulated his scientific creativity also seems misconstrued: his serious accomplishments were achieved before the age of 33, when he was working at assigned tasks; during his later life he pursued various interests whimsical robots, chess-playing machines, a scientific study of juggling but achieved nothing noteworthy. Still, Soni and Goodman open an engrossing window onto what a mind hard at work can do.
A Mind at Play
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 18, 2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

More by Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman