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The Backroom Boys:
The Secret Return of the British Boffin

by Francis Spufford

ISBN 0571214967 / 9780571214969 / 0-571-21496-7
Publisher Faber and Faber
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Britain is the only country in the world to have cancelled its space programme just as it put its first rocket into orbit. Starting with this forgotten episode, this text tells the bitter-sweet story of how one country lost its industrial tradition and got something back. Sad, inspiring, funny and ultimately triumphant, it follows the technologists whose work kept Concorde flying, created the computer game, conquered the mobile-phone business, saved the human genome for the human race and who are now sending the Beagle 2 probe to burrow the cinnamon sands of Mars. [via]