A Mind at Play book cover

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

“Reveals the remarkable human behind some of the most important theoretical and practical contributions to the information age.”


In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time. With unique access to Shannon’s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and always playful genius to life.

What people are saying

“A welcome and inspiring account of a largely unsung hero—unsung because, the authors suggest, he accomplished something so fundamental that it’s difficult to imagine a world without it.”

Kirkus Reviews

“The writing has an impressive ability to put us into the home town of Claude Shannon, or the corridors of Bell Labs as he rides his unicycle along them.”

Brian Clegg
Brian Clegg
author, A Brief History of Infinity

“An exceptionally elegant and authoritative portrait of a man of few words but many big ideas. Soni and Goodman’s elucidations of Claude Shannon’s theories are gems of conciseness and clarity, and their case for placing him in the same pantheon as Turing and von Neumann is compelling.”

Sylvia Nasar
Sylvia Nasar
NYT bestselling author, A Beautiful Mind

“We owe Claude Shannon a lot, and Soni & Goodman’s book takes a big first step in paying that debt.”

San Francisco Review of Books

“Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman have written a fascinating, readable, and necessary biography of a true American genius. This is the book that finally explains Claude Shannon’s character and career as well as the context of his extraordinary life and times.”

Jon Gertner
Jon Gertner
NYT bestselling author, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

“Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman make a convincing case for their subtitle while reminding us that Shannon never made this claim himself.”

The Wall Street Journal

If you want to understand the extraordinary mind that planted the seed for the information age, grab this award-winning book.