Five years ago, Hoover senior fellow Dennis Bark found himself at a crossroads. Living at the epicenter of the new technological revolution, Bark had a dawning awareness that academic world he had grown up in was disappearing.
"I was living in the middle of Silicon Valley on Stanford campus, in an academic world full of new technology I didn't understand," Bark writes. "I felt like an eccentric when I signed letters with real ink."
Professor Bark's Amazing Digital Adventure (Woodford Press, 2000) is the chronicle of his journey from technological ignorance to digital age savviness.
Being surrounded by friends who had embraced the technological revolution and were better off for it, Bark decided to change his life. The first step he had to take was recognizing the state of denial in which he was living.
"I had been asking myself, 'What would I use a computer for,'" writes Bark. "Nothing! It takes too much time to use one, and moreover, I'm a scholar not a scientist."
With the encouragement of friends and the guidance of a remarkable tutor, Bark overcame his reservations and mastered the new technology of computers and the Internet.
Bark's journey of discovery is one that will serve as an inspiration to computer novices in all walks of life. Drawing on his remarkable grasp of history and political science, Bark also offers insight into the Internet's effect on the way we live, making his book relevant to all who face the new digital era.
"Information networks are setting millions of people free," writes Bark. "This freedom is bringing with it both opportunities and challenges. Together all of us have a vested interest in understanding how the wired world of real time works, and what we can do with it when we are connected."
Dennis L. Bark, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is a political scientist and historian in the field of European studies. He writes and lectures on European affairs and the transatlantic relationship, with special emphasis on France and Germany.
His recent work includes Reflections on Europe (Hoover Press, 1997), an edited volume to which he contributed the essay "The American-European Relationship: Reflections on Half a Century, 1947/1997." He is also author (with David Gress) of The History of West Germany (Basil Blackwell, 1993).
The Hoover Institution, founded at Stanford University in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, who went on to become the 31st president of the United States, is an interdisciplinary research center for advanced study on domestic and international affairs.