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Quite dated but retains some value
on February 26, 2006
Although Auletta often displays a sprightly prose style, this book is sadly dated. This is good magazine journalism, that's all -- not a collection of personal essays with a distinctive voice. The reader often feels as if he is reading a three-year-old issue of the New Yorker, which is probably what he is doing.
Backstory does have the ironic virtue of freezing for all time some of the ephemeral visions of the brief dot-com era. The chapter on Inside.com, where all too much good money was chasing all too many bad ideas, is worth the book's cover price. The media and business worlds have moved on since then, for better and for worse, but one can occasionally find some pleasure in recalling the "next big thing" as perceived in the year 2000.