Politics & Polls #148: The Power of Silicon Valley Featuring Margaret O’Mara

Aug 01 2019
By Morgan C. Tucker
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Silicon Valley has emerged as the epicenter of technological innovation within the American economy. Yet, people often know little about the region’s origins and how it grew to become an influential force behind new innovations in society.

Margaret O’Mara joins Julian Zelizer to discuss her new book, “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America,” which addresses the history behind the development of Silicon Valley.  

O’Mara is the Howard & Frances Keller Professor of History at the University of Washington. Her previous books include “Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley” and “Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections That Shaped the Twentieth Century.” Before becoming a professor, O’Mara was a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution in the Clinton White House. 


Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He has written more than 900 op-eds, including his popular weekly column for CNN.com and The Atlantic. This year, he is the distinguished senior fellow at the New York Historical Society, where he is writing a biography of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for Yale University's Jewish Lives Series. He is the author and editor of more than 19 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. In January 2019, Norton published his new book, co-authored with Kevin Kruse, “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.” In spring 2020, Penguin Press will publish his other book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and New America.