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Maybe you are right, it is not in the same category as The Selfish Gene. However, I thought the parts about the early history of computing were written very well, as someone who did not know much about it before.

I was also thinking that a non-fiction book with no fluff and no injection of personality/flair from the author is a textbook. There are many outstanding textbooks (like Molecular Biology of the Cell) which offer pure information, but I think commercial non-fiction books are aimed at a more general audience. The author needs to fluff a book up a bit to make the material approachable. I also wonder how some non-fiction books would read if untouched by editors.

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