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Siegel, a controversial former NewRepublic.com blogger and past Slate.com art critic, provides a fascinating look at how the Internet is reshaping the way we think about ourselves and the world. Siegel explores how the Internet affects culture and social life, particularly the psychological, emotional and social cost of high-tech solitude. Arguing that the Internet's widespread anonymity eliminates boundaries, Siegel discusses the half-fantasy, half-realism of online personas. Internet pornography, Siegel intones, collapses public and private, transforming others into the instrument of the viewer's will. By experiencing virtual selves rather than other individuals, a danger arises: people run the risk of being reduced to personas that other Internet users manipulate toward their own ends. Insightful and well written with convincing evidence to support Siegel's polemic, this book is a welcome addition to the debate on the personal ramifications of living in a wired world. (Jan.)
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Acclaim for Lee Siegel
“Mr. Siegel is a zigzagging cultural omnivore…a confrontational enthusiast… an expert demolisher of critical group-think.”
--New York Observer
“One of the country’s most eloquent and acid-tongued cultural critics.”
-Deborah Solomon, New York Times
“To read him is to be reminded of what criticism used to aspire to in terms of range, learning, high standards, and good writing and--dare one say it?--values.”
-- David Rieff
“Savor his vigorous prose, and prepare to be surprised.”
“In every case, Siegel is wildly and satisfyingly unpredictable.”
"One of the heroic few."
-- The Guardian
You shouldn't buy this book, you should steal it the way Mr. Siegel brags about stealing his education. The rest of us pay for defaulting scum like Mr. Siegel.Published 2 months ago by whatwhat
Who better to guide us through the perils of the Internet age than a notorious troll and shameless sock puppet? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Remus
Before you read this, PLEASE NOTE I only read the first half of the book before I could not afford to waste any more time. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by Lorenzo M. Vidali
"You must sound more like everyone else than anyone else is able to sound like everyone else."
I feel sheepish writing this review, volunteering my leisure-time to labor... Read more
The train has left the station, now that the technology is here to stay, we have to embrace and see how we can use it effectively to our advantage. Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by rpv
As we study the impact of the Internet in all of its aspects, Siegel is a good balance for the many highly positive and laudatory works available. Read morePublished on April 19, 2011 by Berglund Center for Internet Studies
Man, I had high hopes for this book. Very high. Siegel had a great piece in the NY Times a few weeks ago, so I ordered Against the Machine thinking I'd get more of his shrewd... Read morePublished on January 20, 2009 by thenextgreatamericannovel.com
This book is so good. Siegel is one of the few writers who aren't caught up with all of the hype of Google and Web 2.0. Read morePublished on November 12, 2008 by Amazon Customer
He sold me on the book doing some great interviews while promoting it. Good guy, definitely has the right idea. But the book just seems to be repetitive.Published on April 5, 2008 by Amazon Customer