Tracy Kidder, UI Graduate 74MFA

Prize Work: The Soul of a New Machine; Pulitzer Prize: 1982 General Non-Fiction

Tracy KidderTracy Kidder (born 1945) is an American writer.

Author Biography - Kidder is an American author and Vietnam War veteran. Kidder may be best known, especially within the computing community, for his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Soul of a New Machine, an account of the development of Data General's Eclipse/MV minicomputer. The book typifies his distinctive style of research. He began following the project at its inception and, in addition to interviews, spent considerable time observing the engineers at work and outside of it. Using this perspective he was able to produce a more textured portrait of the development process than a purely retrospective study might.

Kidder followed up with House, in which he chronicles the design and construction of the award-winning Souweine House in Amherst, Massachusetts. House reads like a novel, but it is based on many hours of research with the architect, builders, clients, in-laws, and other interested parties.

In 2003, Kidder also published Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure The World after a chance encounter with Paul Farmer. The book was held to wide critical acclaim and became a New York Times bestseller. Edward Norton has claimed it was one of the books which has had a profound influence on him.

Learn More About Kidder's Prize Winning Work

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

Book Description
Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one companys efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.

Browse The Book
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
(Taken from

Editorial Reviews

View editorial reviews from Library Journal,, The Wall Street Journal and more.
Read the reviews >>

An Interview with Tracy Kidder...

In an 1985 interview from, Tracy Kidder discusses his life and profession.

(Real Audio Format)

Bibliography - Tracy Kidder

* The Soul of a New Machine (1981)
* House (1985)
* Amony Schoolchildren (1989)
* Old Friends (1994)
* Home Town (1999)
* Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (2003)
* My Detachment: a Memoir (2005)

External links