The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S TOP BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2020
Shortlisted for the FT Business Book of the Year Award 2019
‘Easily the most important book to be published this century. I find it hard to take any young activist seriously who hasn’t at least familarised themselves with Zuboff’s central ideas.’ – Zadie Smith, The Guardian
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called “surveillance capitalism,” and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us.
The heady optimism of the Internet’s early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future?
Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism’s impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.
Easily the most important book to be published this century. I find it hard to take any young activist seriously who hasn't at least familarised themselves with Zuboff's central ideas. -- Zadie Smith * The Guardian * everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense. -- Naomi Klein A must read for anyone interested in power, politics, technology and the future of our fragile democracies. Zuboff is a brilliant mind who connects the dots like no other. -- Elif Shafak * New Statesman Books of the Year * Das Kapital of the digital age -- Hugo Rifkind * The Times * Magisterial, indispensable -- Carole Cadwalladr * Observer * [It] will surely become a pivotal work in defining, understanding and exposing this surreptitious exploitation of our data and, increasingly, our free will ... essential * Irish Times * An intensively researched, engagingly written chronicle of surveillance capitalism's origins and its deleterious prospects for our society ... This is the rare book that we should trust to lead us down the long hard road of understanding -- Jacob Silverman * New York Times * Groundbreaking, magisterial ... unmissable -- John Thornhill * FT * Comprehensive and impassioned ... an important book -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * Groundbreaking ... Aiming to apply Marx's account of surplus value in a time when capital is accumulated through knowledge-based technology, she has given us an illuminating critical perspective on the regime of surveillance under which we all now live * New Statesman * A bold, important book ... Combining in-depth technical understanding and a broad, humanistic scope, Zuboff has written what may prove to be the first definitive account of the economic - and thus social and political - condition of our age. -- James Bridle * Guardian * This book's major contribution is to give a name to what's happening, to put it in cultural and historical perspective, and to ask us to pause long enough to think about the future and how it might be different from today -- Frank Rose * WSJ * A chilling expose of the business model that underpins the digital world ... a striking and illuminating book. A fellow reader remarked to me that it reminded him of Thomas Piketty's magnum opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in that it opens one's eyes to things we ought to have noticed, but hadn't -- John Naughton * Observer * It's quite possible that the single most important book about politics, economics, culture and society in this century is Shoshana Zuboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. She explains with far more power than anyone has done before the emergence of a whole new form of capitalism based on the expropriation of the personal data we freely give to vast corporations. It's the Das Kapital for our times. -- Fintan O'Toole * Irish Times * An exceptional and necessary book about the information civilisation we have become -- David Patrikarakos * Literary Review * Extraordinarily intelligent ... Absorbing Zuboff's methodical determination, the way she pieces together sundry examples into this comprehensive work of scholarship and synthesis, requires patience, but the rewards are considerable - a heightened sense of awareness, and a deeper appreciation of what's at stake -- Jennifer Szalai * New York Times * Original ... it arrives at a crucial moment, when the public and its elected representatives are at last grappling with the extraordinary power of digital media and the companies that control it. Like another recent masterwork of economic analysis, Thomas Piketty's 2013 Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the book challenges assumptions, raises uncomfortable questions about the present and future, and stakes out ground for a necessary and overdue debate -- Nicholas Carr * LARB * I will make a guarantee: Assuming we survive to tell the tale, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has a high probability of joining the likes Adam Smith's The Wealth of Natiions and Max Weber's Economy and Society as defining social-economics texts of modern times. It is not a 'quick read;' it is to be savored and re-read and discussed with colleagues and friends. No zippy one-liners from me, except to almost literally beg you to read/ingest this book -- Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is brilliant and essential ... a masterpiece of rare conceptual daring, beautifully written and deeply urgent -- Robert B. Reich, author of The Common Good and Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few The defining challenge for the future of the market economy is the concentration of data, knowledge, and surveillance power. Not just our privacy but our individuality is at stake, and this very readable and thought-provoking book alerts us to these existential dangers. Highly recommended -- Daron Acemoglu, author of Why Nations Fail Zuboff's expansive, erudite, deeply-researched exploration of digital futures elucidates the norms and hidden terminal goals of information-intensive industries. Zuboff's book is the information industry's Silent Spring -- Chris Hoofnagle, University of California, Berkeley In the future, if people still read books, they will view this as the classic study of how everything changed. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a masterpiece that stunningly reveals the essence of twenty-first-century society, and offers a dire warning about technology gone awry that we ignore at our peril. Shoshana Zuboff has somehow escaped from the fishbowl in which we all now live, and introduced to us the concept of water. A work of penetrating intellect, this is also a deeply human book about what is becoming, as it relentlessly demonstrates, a dangerously inhuman time -- Kevin Werbach, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Blockchain and The New Architecture of Trust A panoramic exploration of one of the most urgent issues of our times, Zuboff reinterprets contemporary capitalism through the prism of the digital revolution, producing a book of immense ambition and erudition. Zuboff is one of our most prescient and profound thinkers on the rise of the digital. In an age of inane Twitter soundbites and narcissistic Facebook posts, Zuboff's serious scholarship is great cause for celebration -- Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future Shoshana Zuboff has produced the most provocative compelling moral framework thus far for understanding the new realities of our digital environment and its anti-democratic threats. From now on, all serious writings on the internet and society will have to take into account The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. -- Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Chair Professor, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania From the very first page I was consumed with an overwhelming imperative: everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense. With tremendous lucidity and moral courage, Zuboff demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they are being rapidly and radically changed in the process. The hour is late and much has been lost already - but as we learn in these indispensable pages, there is still hope for emancipation * Naomi Klein * Something you need -- Margaret Atwood a must read for anyone interested in power, politics, technology and the future of our fragile democracies. Zuboff is a brilliant mind who connects the dots like no other. -- Elif Shafak * New Statesman * It's the Das Kapital for our times, setting out with clarity and urgency the implications of an economic system in which an elite can predict, and therefore manipulate, every shift in our desires. But Zuboff is no fatalist and her book should give us courage to, as it were, take back control. -- Fintan O'Toole * New Statesman * a vital analysis of the digital economy and our place in it. -- Rosamund Urwin * Sunday Times best Business Books of the Year 2019 * It is a stunning research on "information civilisation", concentration of power and the sinister exploitation of our data at the expense of our freedom, which are no doubt some of the most pressing issues of our times. But more than that, this is a fascinating and wise and honest exploration of what it means to be human in the digital age and why we need to fight back. Technology is way too important to leave it to tech companies, which are clearly becoming tech monopolies. We all need to become part of this important discussion, and for that to happen, we need to ask the right questions. This book is a brilliant way to do that. -- Elif Shafak * Guardian - Best Books of the Year Writers' Choice * Of the many excellent books on our vexed relationship with tech published this year, the standout title has to be Shoshana Zuboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (Profile), which details how the Silicon Valley behemoths are mining our private experiences to make a profit. -- Ian Sample * Guardian's Best Science, Nature and Ideas Books of 2019 * Praise for In the Age of the Smart Machine: 'A work of rare originality and engrossing complexity * New York Times Book Review * Ground-breaking, magisterial and synthetically brilliant * Technology and Culture * Examined with force and almost cunning insight what is yet to come * Encyclopedia of Software Engineering *
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