Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
192 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In his compelling book Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Memoir, Jeffrey Cooper recounts personal and professional experiences, offering a behind-the-scenes look into the collective work that went into creating today’s advanced, disruptive technologies. Cooper was born in Japan where his father was stationed during the Korean War. The family returned to America shortly after. In 1975, he graduated from college and began working for General Electric as a computer operator. He worked in different capacities in various companies, finally working for ASML. At the time of his retirement from the company, their work had become vital in sustaining Moore’s Law which is fundamental to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Jeffrey Cooper’s meticulous work offers the reader a comprehensive chronology of the years leading up to the fourth industrial revolution. The work adeptly maintains a balance between his experiences as a contributor to the development of cutting-edge technologies and his personal life. He covers his family life and relationships courageously and includes the important, useful lessons he has learned along the way. The book offers a realistic, open view of his career life, the pressure involved in working in the technology industry, and the many ups and downs he faced. It includes clear photos of the places and people mentioned which complement the text. Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an intricate, heartfelt memoir that covers one man’s eye-opening journey to overcoming challenges while remaining committed to technological advancement. Readers will find the work educative and impactful.

Asher Syed

Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Memoir by Jeffrey Cooper is an account of his life in STEM and the path he took to arrive there. Cooper's book is more of an autobiography than a memoir and is broken down into three distinct and interconnected parts. Growing Up dives deeply into Cooper's family history going as far back as his ancestral roots, his nuclear and extended family, and his education through to college. My Life's Work is an incredibly thorough chronicle of Cooper's nearly 5-decade career during, arguably, the most innovative period of human history. Family and Meaning concerns Cooper's relationships as an adult and the need for him to step back from the work that consumed every fiber of his being.

As someone who works in STEM, I was immediately drawn to Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Jeffrey Cooper has lived a full life and it's obvious that the part he played in where we are today is due to the extreme advancement of technology, particularly while he worked for General Electric, a powerhouse of American ingenuity. For me, the most interesting parts were when Cooper spoke of his personal life. This covered his relationships with women and his involvement with the Church of Christ. After reading about the degree of energy and commitment that he applied to his work during the most productive years of his life, his diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy was crushing to me. The book is a slow starter that picks up to a moderate jog, but it's well-written and easy to read. Recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Throughout his career, Jeffrey Cooper was involved in developing, using, and manufacturing high-tech electronic devices that changed the world. Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Memoir is his story. Born in 1953 to a father in the US Air Force, Jeffrey grew up moving from place to place while developing a keen interest in anything science-related from an early age. Soon after graduation, he joined GE Aerospace in Utica, New York as a computer operator. During the following decades, Jeffrey would experience two broken marriages yet go on to work for companies like ABB and ASML, working on emerging technologies that were part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These include 3D printing, machine learning, genetic engineering, robots, edge computing, quantum computing, cloud computing, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, and others.

Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the true story of a man who overcame the unexpected challenges of life to pursue his dreams and played a key role in developing some of the emerging technologies of this modern age. Jeffrey Cooper's inspirational life is a testament to the ingenuity of humans and how they can achieve seemingly insurmountable goals by being genuinely passionate and hard-working in their endeavors. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not just the result of CEOs and visionaries doing it all alone, but also everyday men and women like Jeffrey dedicating their lives to bring those visions to reality. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to readers who love inspiring autobiographies.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Jeffrey Cooper documents the author's family and professional life. Cooper begins by explaining the meaning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the purpose of this book, which is divided into three main parts. The first part covers Cooper's parental heritage, early life, teenage years, and university experiences. The second section covers his professional life. Cooper moved a lot in his childhood and learned early on to blend in. This came in handy in his professional life. He transitioned readily from one job to the next, which helped him gain more knowledge about the companies he worked for and boosted his career. The last section covers his romantic relationships, his sons Chris and Jameson (Jaime), and his stepson Rod. In conclusion, Cooper talks about his retirement, health, and current life.

I find it endearing that Jeffrey Cooper wrote Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution for his sons. I applaud the hard work he invested in leaving a legacy for his children and future generations of Coopers. Despite his legendary life, Cooper is a man like any other; he is made of flesh and blood and went through tough times, depression, religious struggles, job loss, and downsizing; it was not smooth sailing for him. His story is an inspiration to all who come from humble beginnings. With focus and determination, it is possible to achieve your dreams. Cooper added notations at the beginning of each chapter, briefly describing what to expect. The story is well-organized and easy to follow. I loved how he gave random facts about gas prices, his love of animals, and many more. A Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution perfectly depicts Cooper's work in the technological industry and his contribution to society; this is a brilliant read.

Grant Leishman

Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Memoir by Jeffrey Cooper is an interesting window into a working life spent at the cutting edge of the technological revolution. Having progressed up the corporate ladder in finance and supply-chain logistics at the industrial giant that is General Electric, he witnessed first-hand the immense changes in our way of life brought about by the advances in technology, especially the ubiquitous computer chip. In the latter years of his career, he worked for companies operating at the sharp end of technology, such as ABB and ASML. Following the precept of Moore’s Law, the idea that the number of components able to be fitted on an integrated circuit would double every two years, the author contrasts the early electronic equipment with the immense power provided by the computer chips of today, including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics and so much more. As well as the business side of Cooper’s life, the reader will also experience the family life of a busy corporate executive, and the stresses and strains that working in such a busy, technologically edgy, and competitive industry can place on relationships and family.

Foot Soldier in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an illuminating read for anyone interested in the machinations of big corporations and specifically in high technology, its development, and future direction. With his honest and straightforward writing style, Jeffrey Cooper takes the reader right into the world of technology innovators. Much of this was revelatory to a reader who struggles to understand the complexity and diverse nature of large multinational organizations. I was fascinated by the sheer number of employees and the volume of products these large corporations deal with daily and the story opened my eyes to the political workings of any large enterprise. What I particularly liked was that this autobiography was written by someone not at the pinnacle of a corporate giant but rather a person who had slowly worked his way through the ranks to the executive level. This gave the business stories more gravitas and credibility. I also appreciated the section on the family and the author’s opinions. This gives the book a more rounded appeal and readability than a straight-out business tome. This was an enjoyable, easy read that I can highly recommend.