A truly excellent book. Both as a 'history of ideas' and in its consideration of the personal trials and tribulations faced by Leibniz, Frege, Boole, Hilbert, Cantor, Godel, and Turing. The book traces the development of the computer through the life and work of these logicians/mathematicians, from Leibniz's dream of a language of symbolic logic and a machine capable of producing and testing true propositions in that language. This book is relevant not only to philosophers, mathematicians, and computer scientists, but to writers who seek understanding of the relations between language and logic in the contemporary electronic landscape. It will also be a good read for anyone wishing to understand the intellectual atmospheres from which the computer arose.
And it is poignant in its reflections on the fate of some of the most gifted logicians in history. Cantor spent a lot of time in sanitoriums; Godel starved himself to death over paranoia that his food was being poisoned; Alan Turing probably committed suicide by eating a poisoned apple.