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Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous Paperback – October 6, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 ratings

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  • Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Winner of the 2015 American Anthropological Association's Diana Forsythe Prize awarded by the Society for the Anthropology of Work (SAW) and from the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing."

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014

“Easily the best book on Anonymous.”
—Julian Assange

“The US government and its allies have spent years castigating, prosecuting, and jailing members of Anonymous, with the director of the NSA going so far as to warn ominously of the potential of an Anonymous-led power blackout. But Gabriella Coleman’s fascinating history of Anonymous makes clear that almost all of the hacktivism attributed to this global collective has been devoted to exposing wrongdoing, not wreaking destruction, even as she also carefully shows that Anonymous is not a shadowy organization but a loosely knit collection of activists all over the globe, fighting for government and corporate transparency. The NSA’s treatment of Anonymous is disturbing and extreme, and Anonymous’s surprising activist turn is heartening. Essential reading.”
—Glenn Greenwald, author of No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State

“An engrossing, accessible, and intelligent study illuminating the ambiguities of Anonymous and its implications for the future of online political activism.”
Times Literary Supplement

“Coleman charts her own conceptual course, breaking with the standard narratives, particularly the click-baity cautionary tales about the dangers of Anonymous. Her book offers its share of warnings, but ones more nuanced, compelling, and empathetic than the typical hand-wringing about online mobs and the conundrum of virtual vigilante justice. Coleman is no cheerleader...But she also doesn’t wag her finger from some imagined high ground.” 
—Astra Taylor, Bookforum

“This is the ultimate piece on Anonymous. It’s a notoriously difficult subject to write about, but Gabriella Coleman has succeeded where others have failed, and the result is a masterpiece that is informative, interesting, and funny. A fine example of what an investigative book should be.”
—Mustafa Al-Bassam, alias “tflow,” former member of LulzSec

“In Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, Coleman reveals the group in all its complexity ... this in-depth account might leave readers in awe of the sheer scope of the group and how much they have achieved while shunning the traditional trappings of leaders, hierarchy and individual fame-seeking.”
 —Financial Times

“Anyone hoping to understand this mostly hidden world will find [Coleman's] book crucial and even prescient.”
 —Boston Globe

“Meticulously researched, eminently readable.”  
 —Maclean's Magazine

“Coleman takes us on a thrilling journey into the uncharted landscape of hackers, trolls, and Anonymous activists who live among us. It’s both a perfect initiation for all those n00bs out there still wondering what a ‘n00b’ is, as well as an important discourse on the role of anarchy online. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy shares in the rebellious, even mordant humor of the groups it profiles, but never loses its critical perspective. A hilarious, important piece of hidden history that is very hard to put down.”
—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

“With a perceptive eye and a principled disposition, Coleman dives into the eclectic world of Anonymous to reveal the humor and political significance of this polarizing network. Following her journey through this maze and reveling in her analysis is both insightful and awe-inspiring. This book will shake up assumptions at the core of academia, industry, law enforcement, and the media. It’s a must read!”
—danah boyd, author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

“Exhaustively researched and devilishly readable, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy tells the story of Anonymous’s rise from 4chan to taking on governments. If there could be a definitive writer on a movement like Anonymous, Coleman would be it.”
—Molly Crabapple, artist and author of the forthcoming Drawing Blood

“[An] eye-opening ethnography ... This all-access pass into the dark and wild corners of the Internet is timely, informative, and also frightening.”
Publishers Weekly




From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gabriella Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism. She is the author of Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
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Top international reviews

Wavey Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabriella Coleman deserves high praise for her wonderfully-crafted narrative backed by impeccable research
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2017
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Mario Vilas
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the best book on the subject
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
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Arthur Doohan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2018
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Ms F.
4.0 out of 5 stars A very thick book! Possibly slightly overwhelming as you ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2016
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Ken M.
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful or an Anonymous Shill? You decide
Reviewed in Canada on October 8, 2016
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Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Anonymous
Reviewed in Canada on February 8, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars I just read it for the lulz! ;)
Reviewed in Canada on February 23, 2016
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dana13
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend
Reviewed in Canada on December 27, 2018
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Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice reading
Reviewed in Spain on February 3, 2016
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lbourbeau
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the mirror
Reviewed in Canada on February 22, 2016
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