From Steven Johnson, the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now, the companion book to his five-part BBC TV series. How did the advent of refrigeration help create the golden age of Hollywood? How did the invention of flash photography help shift public opinion on the plight of New York's poorest inhabitants and bring about social reform? And what about our battle against dirt? How did that help create the microchips in our smartphones and computers? In How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson traces six essential innovations that made the modern world; from their origins in ancient history to the technological advancements of recent years. A celebration of innovation: this book shows how time and time again, big ideas coalesce out of smaller, incremental breakthroughs. Unlocking tales of the unsung heroes and unexpected scientific revolutions, this is the story of the ideas that changed the world and the way we live in it.