The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation was published in March, 2012 by Penguin Press. I spoke about some of the ideas in the book last summer at Chautauqua, in upstate New York. You can find a link to the lecture here.
In The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called The Idea Factory “riveting,” and wrote: “Mr. Gertner’s portraits of Kelly and the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries and inventions utterly comprehensible — indeed, thrilling — to the lay reader.” In The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Walter Isaacson noted that the book was “a well-researched history of Bell Labs, filled with colorful characters and inspiring lessons. . . . ‘The Idea Factory’ explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation? Why does it happen, and how might we nurture it?” The Economist concluded that “the men of Bell Labs . . . are brought to life by Jon Gertner in The Idea Factory, his wonderful history of the most influential corporate-research lab the world has seen.” And the Boston Globe described The Idea Factory as “breathtaking,” with reviewer Josh Rothman calling it “one of the best innovation-focused books I’ve read: It’s a wide-ranging, detailed, and deeply fascinating look at the New Jersey lab which has been churning out useful discoveries since the early 1900s.”
You can buy The Idea Factory here.