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Reviews

"Every standards professional should own this book. Bottom line—an A+."

"By recounting the story of standardization, Yates and Murphy demonstrate how human and organizational actions slowly sediment into institutions that melt into the background of our lives."

"Yates and Murphy provide an engaging narrative about the people and processes responsible for making the technologies we have today work with one another"

"The book is an extraordinarily detailed history of the movement from national to international standards creation and use. It introduces as its heroes... a series of men of rectitude and accomplishment who selflessly built the practice."

"A comprehensive, readable account of private standard setting that should interest legal scholars, lawyers, and law students. Yates and Murphy have provided a great service with their illuminating history of the private world of standard setting."

"This book is history at its finest. It is not only a technical and business history of engineering standards but also a deeply researched social history of communities of standardizers. It is also elegantly written—a testament to Yates's and Murphy's research and writing skills. Historians of capitalism and technology will find it required reading, but this book also stands a fair chance of engaging a mass readership."

"A deeply researched and well-crafted examination of one of the key invisible infrastructures of the modern world: private consensus-based industrial standards. Aptly combining their respective expertise, the authors have written an impressive and highly detailed treatment of the emergence of standards-setting bodies, their networks, and their legion of activities. Standards geeks, of which there are thousands, will want to read this book—the first volume of its kind."

"Too many of us who labor in the vineyards of global governance spend our time on visible, formal international organizations. Yates and Murphy do not. Drawing on a century and a half of archives and anecdotes, they demonstrate the crucial impact of private and informal standard-setting on our daily lives. This fascinating tale is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the major changes in the global economy."

"From trains to planes to household electric plugs, unseen committees of engineers have been making our technologies work together for decades. This fascinating book explains how they've done it and offers compelling lessons to historians, technologists, and policy makers alike. Highly recommended."

"Drawing on interviews, personal correspondence, and other unconventional sources, Yates and Murphy make a compelling case that voluntary private standardizers were motivated by non-economic forces. A critical contribution to our deliberation about whether this vital activity of consensual decision-making that elevated the profession in the twentieth century will survive in the next."

"This thought-provoking book describes significant cultural and institutional changes in Western standardization since 1880. It is the fascinating story of differences—but also similarities—in initiatives, (self)organization, and social movements over time, from precursors of IEC and ISO to industry consortia and newcomers like ISEAL. It talks about flesh and blood standardization entrepreneurs and the hopes, frustrations, and wondrous feats of standardizers in technical committees. Not least, this historical account invites us to critically self-examine where we are now."