From tobacco and plow to computer and creative economy, this rich and eloquent history shows how a group of civic leaders put rural North Carolina at the forefront of the postindustrial revolution. In California, they say Silicon Valley is one of a kind; this marvelous book proves otherwise.

Fred Turner, author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

North Carolina’s Research Triangle emerged a half century or so ago as one of a veritable handful of the original suburban high-tech “office parks.” Though its allure has been challenged by the rise of urban tech and the return of innovation and high-tech industries to big cities, the Triangle persists. Brain Magnet provides a much-needed historical account of the rise and challenges of this model of high-tech development.

Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life

Alex Cummings has written a brilliant history of the unlikely making of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. The RTP has proven to be a grand success―but not for everyone. Cummings’s site-specific account of the idea economy gives us much to ponder.

David Farber, author of Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed

Brain Magnet does essential work in connecting the historical processes of urban development to the social, spatial, and intellectual influences of universities. There are many more cases like RTP across the nation. Now scholars have a blueprint to better analyze them.

Walter D. Greason, author of Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey

In an excellent treatment of the emergence of the postindustrial economy in the U.S. South, Cummings does a great job of chronicling the seeds of economic transformation using an underexplored case study.

Bill Graves, coeditor of Charlotte, NC: The Global Evolution of a New South City