The definitive history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency--the most authoritative account we have of the Pentagon agency that has quietly shaped war and technology for nearly sixty years. Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that have evolved from the agency's mission: forward-thinking solutions to the Pentagon's challenges. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA's successes and failures, useful innovations and wild-eyed schemes: we see how the nuclear threat sparked investment in computer networking, which led to the Internet, as well as plans to power a missile-seeking particle beam by draining the Great Lakes...how, in Vietnam, DARPA developed technology for the world's first armed drones and was also responsible for Agent Orange... how DARPA's recent success with self-driving cars is counterbalanced with its disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Weinberger has spoken to dozens of former DARPA and Pentagon officials--many of whom had never been interviewed before about their work with the agency--and synthesized countless documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The result is a riveting history of a meeting point of science, technology, and politics.From the Hardcover edition.