In the shadows of Silicon Valley, outside the eyes of the world that focus on technological wonders and the riches they yield, are the people who created and produced it all. Their stories, written by a seasoned corporate communicator, a fly on the wall of the phenomenal Silicon Valley from its beginnings in the early 1970s, make Shadow Valley a tale whose time has come.
As a result of the Ice Age, a large valley was formed at the tip of the San Francisco Bay and, because of the climate, was one of the richest, most biodiverse spots on the planet. Some would say a Heaven on Earth.
While indigenous people thrived in the valley for more than 10,000 years needing no agriculture because of the natural bounty, other humans ultimately realized the potential of the Valley as an agricultural mecca and began to grow fruit there, making it the largest fruit producing area in the world and earning it the name “Valley of the Heart’s Delight”. For nearly 100 years, the Santa Clara Valley grew wealthier on fruit growing, canning, and exporting plums, cherries, peaches and more to the world, enticing millionaires to establish colleges and universities that attracted students, also from all around the world.
In the post WWII 1950s, engineering had become the focus at many American colleges and universities including Stanford University, Santa Clara University and San Jose State University—all in the Valley and all now famous for their world class engineering schools. As a result, many of those engineers stayed in the Valley after graduation and started businesses, some of which became technology behemoths whose products changed the world.
Thus, at the very end of the 1960’s, Santa Clara Valley became Silicon Valley for its silicon-based foundational products that spurred the technology revolution. It is still a beautiful little valley at the end of the San Francisco Bay where you can grow nearly anything in a nearly perfect climate. But it is also still the bubbling source of all things high technology, the home of IT, computers, cell phones, and algorithms. And under all the stories of its history and creation are those of the people who built the industry—the workers.
Shadow Valley tells those stories, placed in the early 1970s, populated with characters based on real people experiencing real events. Discover their tales of sexual harassment and discrimination as everyday practices, racism, corruption and the slow demise of wages and benefits for workers who still have no voice in their workplaces as the wealth they produce continues to grow exponentially.
Hear workers’ voices in secret meetings as they struggle to unionize for better wages, benefits, and safer working conditions. Witness executive board meetings where organized workers are their greatest fear and union busting is the highest priority. Learn how the corporation wins.
Find the surprising origins of union-blocking in the Valley and how powerful technology leaders prevented their own workers from organizing as the staggering wealth workers produce continues to fire-hose its way into the rapidly-expanding pockets of a handful of men.
Shadow Valley is an honest, raw portrayal of a place and a people who have changed the world and, while wildly famous, the reality of which is little known, written by a 45 year veteran corporate communicator, a technology and business journalist, who saw it all as it grew. The novel tells the tales you haven’t heard, giving deeper context to the world’s understanding of this extraordinary place, exposing the darker places no one talks about and the history never told.