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Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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"Once again, McChesney stands at the crossroads of media dysfunction and the denial of democracy, illuminating the complex issues involved and identifying a path forward to try to repair the damage. Here's hoping the rest of us have the good sense to listen this time."
Eric Alterman, professor of English and journalism, Brooklyn College, CUNY
McChesney penetrates to the heart of the issue: Change the System/Change the Internet. Both/Andnot Either/Or. Indispensable reading as we lay groundwork for the coming great movement to reclaim America.”
Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution, and professor of political economy, University of Maryland
A provocative and far-reaching account of how capitalism has shaped the Internet in the United States. . . . a valuable addition to the literature on the digital age.”
Too often discussions about the democratic potential of the digital revolution treat the Internet and related communication technologies as if they existed in a vacuum. Digital Disconnect disabuses us of this notion, making a convincing case that one can only understand these technologies and how they are used through the lens of political economy, and that the capitalist political economy in which they are currently embedded in the United States is anathema to a truly democratic information environment.”
Michael X. DelliCarpini, dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
A major new work by one of the nation’s leading analysts of media... . Steering between the treacherous Scylla and Charbydis of Internet boosters and skeptics, McChesney shows how the economic context of the digital environment is making the difference between an open and democratic internet, and one which is manipulated for private gain. A hard-to-put-down, meticulously researched must-read.”
Juliet Schor, author of True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans Are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale,High-Satisfaction Economy
If you’re concerned about democracy or the direction of the Internet, this is the book for you! With a panoramic sweep and profound insights, McChesney rings the alarm bells, showing clearly how capitalism is swallowing up the promise of the Internet. No one knows this field better than McChesney, and with this book he has reached the pinnacle.”
Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive
Over the past twenty years, the world has experienced both a profound communications revolution delivered by the internet and an equally profound rise in economic inequality and instability delivered by neoliberal capitalism. Digital Disconnect explores the connections between these epoch-defining trends with clarity, depth, originality, and verve. Robert W. McChesney advances a strong case that achieving the potential of the internet as a force for good requires nothing less than unshackling it from the capitalist social order now defining its trajectory.”
Robert Pollin, professor of economics and co-director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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Top Customer Reviews
McChesney draws on the writings of Evgeny Morozov, Susan Crawford, Rebecca MacKinnon and many other thinkers who explain the policy implications of what our internet has become. Rooted in a political economy interpretation and grounded in work done by Columbia's Richard John and other journalism historians, McChesney's brings together history of journalism, a profound understanding of communications scholarship, technology and a good dose of policy expertise. The result is an essential read which is also surprisingly accessible and easy to understand. I'd recommend Digital Disconnect to my mother, my grad students or to anyone who wants to understand how the internet is changing our society and how its supporters have used our political system to benefit big business interests, here and abroad.
Important topic, compelling worldview--what could go wrong? I think this book suffers from being unable to decide if it's for readers who already agree with the general premise, and want to get filled in on the details, or if it's for readers who are totally new to the issues and flabbergasted to learn that "the market" doesn't actually meet the media needs of a democratic society. If, like me, you fall in the first camp, you want more details and factual content, whereas if you fall into the second camp (or the third--ideological antipathy to his worldview), then this is just going to sound like an angry rant by a grumpy old man.
For example, he frequently reminds readers that a better world is possible, but dwells on how disgusted he is with this one. Everything, from the business model of media firms to the personal integrity of public officials, to the artistic merits of popular culture, sucks here and now.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is written from a typical leftist/Marxist perspective. The author ignores the fact that government has a monopoly on the legal use of force and violence. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Bob McChesney was my prof at the U of Wisconsin Journalism school. Here again is evidence of his thoughtfulness and academic rigor. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This writer is an integral part of our national conscience. When he takes on an issue he is thorough in his exploration. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great book for anyone interested in digital media economy.
I had to read this for a class for my major. It's a dense read and he packs in more themes than I thought possible, but it's still a very readable book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Emma
As an individual who often looks at media systems and technology from an academic viewpoint this book provides an excellent investigation in to the political economic forces that... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Michael D. Kilman
Very interesting input on the Internet and the abuses of capitalism!Published 20 months ago by Gisela Perez de Acha
Impartial and deep study about the topic which many researchers did not like to recognize as an important issue, or they believed to more optimistic explanations about the Internet... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Zoran