The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency

by Annie Jacobsen

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A Pulitzer Prize Finalist and the definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51

No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.

This is the book on DARPA--a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316371650
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 90,151
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Annie Jacobsen is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Area 51 and Operation Paperclip and was a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

Table of Contents

Prologue 5

Part I The Cold War

Chapter 1 The Evil Thing 11

Chapter 2 War Games and Computing Machines 28

Chapter 3 Vast Weapons Systems of the Future 46

Chapter 4 Emergency Plans 60

Chapter 5 Sixteen Hundred Seconds Until Doomsday 76

Chapter 6 Psychological Operations 92

Part II The Vietnam War

Chapter 7 Techniques and Gadgets 117

Chapter 8 RAND and COIN 133

Chapter 9 Command and Control 145

Chapter 10 Motivation and Morale 160

Chapter 11 The Jasons Enter Vietnam 181

Chapter 12 The Electronic Fence 197

Chapter 13 The End of Vietnam 213

Part III Operations Other Than War

Chapter 14 Rise of the Machines 237

Chapter 15 Star Wars and Tank Wars 259

Chapter 16 The Gulf War and Operations Other Than War 270

Chapter 17 Biological Weapons 284

Chapter 18 Transforming Humans for War 305

Part IV The War on Terror

Chapter 19 Terror Strikes 319

Chapter 20 Total Information Awareness 336

Chapter 21 IED War 353

Chapter 22 Combat Zones That See 367

Chapter 23 Human Terrain 386

Part V Future War

Chapter 24 Drone Wars 405

Chapter 25 Brain Wars 420

Chapter 26 The Pentagon's Brain 439

Acknowledgments 453

Notes 457

List of Interviews and Written Correspondence 503

Bibliography 507

Index 537

What People are Saying About This

Annie Jacobsen's considerable talents as an investigative journalist prove indispensable in uncovering the remarkable history of one of America's most powerful and clandestine military research agencies. And she is a great storyteller, making the tantalizing tale of The Pentagon's Brain — from the depths of the Cold War to present day — come alive on every page. --Gerald Posner, author of God's Bankers

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The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good historic review of a poorly known agency.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The subtitle of the book declares that it is “An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top Secret Military Research Agency.” But how could Jacobsen write a history of this organization when its key operations are classified, if not deeply clandestine? What she’s actually written is a narrative of the evolution of warfare from the beginning of the Cold War to the present, focusing on the science and technology which the US military developed in hopes of achieving an advantage over the enemy – whether that enemy was Russians, the Vietcong, or Iraqi insurgents. For the most part, that science and technology have been “hard,” but DARPA has dabbled in biology, medicine, sociology, psychology, and anthropology as well. DARPA appears in the narrative from time to time, but it's hard to ascertain, from the limited evidence Jacobsen can provide, just how much the agency drove military decisions and how much it contributed to the outcome of various military operations. Because Jacobsen is a journalist aiming for a sensational – even alarming – expose, she doesn't acknowledge as often as she should how much this same science and technology has benefited civilians. Were it not for the US military's interest in global positioning systems, electronic sensors, networked computers, and a host of other things which are now part of our daily lives, we'd still live much as Americans did in the 1920s. So, in short, one must read this book critically. But it's worth reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating, page-turning, mind-blower. Intermittently amazed and terrified. Who knew so much of all the technology we Americans enjoy today was born of military science and warfare? With bristling insight, the author tells the story of the DARPA scientists who create and destroy. Thought provoking.