From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It was created by President Eisenhower, in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. Not only did ARPA (the D for defense was added later) contribute heavily to the space program, it also helped develop something called the ARPANET, which became the Internet. DARPA is in business to develop new technologies with applications for the U.S. military artificial limbs, robotic surgeons, stealth technology but, as Belfiore explores in this lively overview, the impact of DARPA extends to the private sector by providing new technologies and techniques IN? the areas of medicine, automotive design, research, and more. In the early 1970s, DARPA even contributed to the debate over the validity of paranormal abilities, investigating (and thoroughly debunking) a high-profile psychic. Belfiore focuses on a handful of the agency's current projects, providing us with a capsule history of the organization and a sense of its mission and impact. For some readers, that may be enough; for others, though, it serves as a tantalizing introduction to a subject that bears deeper exploration.--Pitt, David Copyright 2009 Booklist