The rising and falling tides of each chapter (investigations into theory, technology, trends, challenges, and testimonies) overcame me by about the middle of the book. Suddenly the weight of the "field" was upon me, and I felt deeply inscribed within it. History is the story about overcoming the limitations of technology, administration, and enthusiasm; it is about the combined efforts of the many who have charted new waters in Rhetoric and Composition. I couldn't help but feel proud that I was part of this group, for each successive return to a composition theory or challenges section in a new chapter brought with it another wave of recognition.
I really like the connection that Susan Halter's makes to Faulkner's Absolom, Absalom! on this point. Like the novel, she concludes that History provides a "true enough" account of what has happened in computers and writing over the past two decades.
No matter what point one entered the field, the "chronology" of the stories impresses upon the reader just how important the achievements of the past have been. There are several waves within this great novel.