‘An absorbing study of online propaganda and its threat to democracy’ – Guardian, Book of the Day
‘A wonderful record of these haywire times . . . it really explains how we ended up in this mess’ – Jon Ronson
This is a story about how the extreme became mainstream. It reveals how the truth became ‘fake news’, how fringe ideas spread, and how a candidate many dismissed as a joke was propelled to the presidency by the dark side of the internet.
For several years, Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, has been embedded with alt-right propagandists, who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. He also spent time with the social-media entrepreneurs who made this possible, through their naive and reckless ambition, by disrupting all of the traditional information systems.
Join Marantz as some of the biggest brains in Silicon Valley teach him how to make content go viral; as he hangs out with the conspiracists, white supremacists and nihilist trolls using these ideas to make their memes, blogs and podcasts incredibly successful; and as he meets some of the people led down the rabbit hole of online radicalization.
Antisocial is about how the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then becomes reality. By telling the story of the people who hijacked the American conversation, Antisocial will help you understand the world they have created, in which we all now live.
Antisocial by Andrew Marantz is so humane and lucid and absorbing and good!! Everything in it is a nightmare and I couldn't put it down. -- Jia Tolentino, via Twitter I absolutely loved Antisocial and found it terrifying, timely and a wonderful work of reportage. -- Marcel Theroux, author of Stange Bodies Marantz, a staff writer at the New Yorker, makes a timely and excellent debut with his chronicle of how a "motley cadre of edgelords" gleefully embraced social media to spread their "puerile" brand of white nationalism . . . This insightful and well-crafted book is a must-read account of how quickly the ideas of what's acceptable public discourse can shift. * Publishers Weekly * This is a book about how the unthinkable becomes thinkable: how, in the Age of Trump, the alt-right, and outright fascists, have come to claim a central place in American discourse. This book scared the hell out of me, but every American could benefit from reading it. Andrew Marantz has written a chilling, deeply sourced, rivetingly told account of how a few fringe figures saw the potential of the internet as a vehicle for mass disinformation, and became prophets of the new fascism. Antisocial is political reporting at its finest -- Suketu Mehta, author of This Land Is Our Land Nowhere is the propagation of racist ideas more apparent today than on the social media platforms Silicon Valley created-but failed to govern. In Antisocial, Andrew Marantz crafted a complex, unsettling portrait of how blind techno-utopianism can lead to disaster. This is necessary reading if we intend to keep the next generation of social networks from becoming yet another American source of oppression -- Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist Antisocial is a close-up portrait of the new species of online shock artists who have taken over the American conversation. It is the most detailed and concrete account of how our politics have been changed by social media. This book is essential reading -- Jaron Lanier, Interdisciplinary Scientist at Microsoft Research and author of You Are Not a Gadget We live in an era where current events are driven as much by scrolls of binary code as they are by matters in the physical world. With Antisocial Andrew Marantz has crafted a map of this digital landscape, charted how it came to be, and pointed to its implications for all of us. This is an important book whose relevance will only grow over time -- Jelani Cobb, Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and author of The Substance of Hope A riveting exploration of the causes and consequences of our current societal nervous breakdown. Antisocial is absolutely essential reading to understand This Moment., and it will stick in your brain long after you've devoured it -- Chris Hayes, host of All In with Chris Hayes Marantz has produced an essential work of reporting-one that illuminates not only how our information landscape emerged but also how it has become so corrupted and dangerous. If you want to comprehend the world in which we live, Antisocial is a book you must read -- David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon Anyone who wants to know how Silicon Valley's dream turned into democracy's nightmare should read Antisocial, Andrew Marantz's fascinating firsthand exploration of the trolls and nihilists who have hijacked the internet. This book puts contemporary politics in an alarming new light -- Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money Antisocial is at once funny and scary, antic and illuminating. It's a must-read for anyone still struggling to understand the last election or hoping to make sense of the next one -- Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction This is a wonderful record of these haywire times. Andrew Marantz is the perfect tour guide - dogged, self-reflective and a brilliant observer. Future historians will value this book. Because it really explains how we ended up in this mess. -- Jon Ronson
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