A wide-ranging exemplar of the History of Ideas, Gleick's "The Information" tells the compelling story of our Information Age. Focusing on fascinating characters such as Charles Babbage, and more particularly, the brilliant Claude Shannon, Gleick deftly weaves together the disparate strands of technology, cryptology and psychology that lead to his "Flood." Those familiar with the "Steampunk" world-view will find many common strands here. A solid math background, while not essential, certainly enhances the experience. I've now added Gleick's "Chaos" and his biography of Newton to my soon-to-be-read list.