From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism Illustrated Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0226817422
ISBN-10: 0226817423
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fred Turner’s richly detailed history of how the alliance between the counterculture and digirati was formed is a fascinating story demonstrating that the computer’s metaphoric implications are never simply the result of the technology itself. Engrossing, deeply researched, and rich with implications, From Counterculture to Cyberculture is highly recommended for anyone interested in how technological objects attain meaning within social and historical contexts.”

-- N. Katherine Hayles ― N. Katherine Hayles

“Chapter by chapter, Fred Turner shows inventively and with a deep knowledge of the whole scene how cold war technology met hippie communalism to produce the Whole Earth Catalog, WELL, Wired, and everything that followed. This book is a tour de force of historical digging, sociological analysis, and full understanding.”

-- Howard S. Becker ― Howard S. Becker

"In Turner's meticulously detailed . . . book, he postulates that Brand was an idealistic (albeit Barnum-esque) leader of a merry band of cybernetic pranksters who framed the concept of computers and the Internet with a seemingly nonintuitive twist: These one-time engines of government and big business had transmogrified into a social force associated with egalitarianism, personal empowerment, and the nurturing cocoon of community."
-- Steven Levy ― Bookforum

"Turner's fascinating From Counterculture to Cyberculture gives us a detailed look at one slice through this marvelous story. Unlike many other histories that focus on the technical innovators . . . this account focuses on a key player whose role was making the counterculture-cyberculture connection: Stewart Brand. . . . There are a myriad of fascinating little historical details that [Turner] dug up that will surprise and enlighten even the key players in the drama."
-- Henry Lieberman ― Science

“Turner convincingly portrays a cadre of journalists who strove to transform the idea of the computer from a threat during the Cold War into a means of achieving personal freedom in an emerging digital utopia.”

-- Paul Duguid ― Times Literary Supplement

"Brand's trajectory from arty 60s mayhem to the halls of Congress reflects, Turner argues, a realisation that 'the natural world and the social world really were all one system of information exchange.'"
-- Mike Holderness ― New Scientist

"With its countercurrents and nuances, [the book] recalls works of the highest standard that also address technology's interactions with national culture: David E. Nye's "American Technological Sublime" (1994) comes to mind, as does Norman Mailer's 'Of a Fire on the Moon' (1971). . . . One of the many strengths . . . is that [the book] articulates the sociological forces that created this revolution in our time. Twenty-nine dollars will never buy you more book than this."
-- Giles Slade ― Los Angeles Times

"The links this book makes between the world of the counterculture and the world of high technology make it important reading for anyone teaching or writing about the 1960s."
-- Ross Knox Bassett ― Journal of American History

"[The book] fills important gaps and connections in how the Internet and computer world evolved beyond its business and military applications to include the rest of the world, and is a fascinating read."
Midwest Book Review

"From Counterculture to Cyberculture is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the new economy and from whence it came. This is a book that belongs in both graduate and undergraduate classrooms, not just for its scholarly message but for the deep chill it leaves behind."
-- Stephen R. Barley ― Administrative Science Quarterly

About the Author

Fred Turner is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University.

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Product details

  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press; Illustrated edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 327 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0226817423
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0226817422
  • Item Weight : 1.14 pounds
  • Dimensions : 8.96 x 6.45 x 0.76 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
41 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2008
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Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2007
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Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2021
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1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: Kindle version will not let you change the font!
By Beau Gunderson on January 27, 2021
This is the first Kindle book I've read (out of ~50) where the font was locked by the publisher. This would be fine if the font was inoffensive, but the publisher chose one where the serifs extend below the baseline; it is incredibly distracting. I doubt I'll be able to force myself to suffer through the whole thing.
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2010
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Top reviews from other countries

Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Reviewed in Germany on July 13, 2011
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Daniel Grajales
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favourites
Reviewed in Spain on July 7, 2015
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Frank Frei
5.0 out of 5 stars From Counterculture to Cyberculture
Reviewed in Germany on July 14, 2019
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testud
5.0 out of 5 stars aux sources du world wilde web
Reviewed in France on March 28, 2013
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2 people found this helpful
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musidora
5.0 out of 5 stars ouvrage hyper intéressant sur les origines de notre société de l'information versus internet
Reviewed in France on May 14, 2013
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