Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story Paperback – August 2, 2016
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“[Wolfe] explores the particulars of the valley itself, where youth and high-profile failure can be badges of honor, and the concentrations of wealth and intelligence are staggering. With a detached and playful tone, fly-on-the-wall Wolfe catalogs the unique habits, dress, nutrition, and mating habits of the startup class.”—Booklist
“Racy and fun…. Wolfe's entertaining and intensive look inside this aspirational, transformational, and transgressive lifestyle is both celebration and cautionary tale.”—ELLE
"Wolfe is an entertaining writer....Wolfe lands on characters who are vibrant and open-minded."—The Atlantic
"A fascinating look into the beginning stages of startups."—San Francisco Chronicle
"A jauntily paced anthropological look at Northern California’s techtopia. The Palo Alto semispoof is becoming a crowded genre (Mike Judge’s HBO show, Antonio García Martínez’s memoir Chaos Monkeys, etc.), but Wolfe, a Wall Street Journal reporter and former Bloomberg Businessweek columnist, has found relevant new eyes through which to show outsiders around."—Bloomberg Businessweek
"A sharply observed, often quite funny anthropological deep dive into the strange inner workings of the Bay Area tech world."—VOGUE.com
"Wolfe, a Wall Street Journal columnist and the daughter of author Tom Wolfe, uses the stories of Burnham, Deming, and their peers in Valley of the Gods to chronicle the peculiar and often comical mores of Silicon Valley....Valley poses some weighty questions about the value of a college education and the nobility of joining the modern gold rush in Silicon Valley, but the allure of the book is Wolfe’s shrewd observations about more mundane things like clothes. Her narrative style is less showy than her father’s, but she adopts some of his most effective literary techniques such as providing extensive descriptions of how her subjects dress, eat, exercise, and hook up."—National Book Review
"Alexandra Wolfe's revealing new book, Valley of the Gods, offers a peek inside the privilege, power, and profligacy of Silicon Valley. Wolfe's reporting exposes the inner workings of the multibillion-dollar tech industry and also the odd behavior in which its titans indulge."—Town & Country
"Wolfe delves into a world that few have seen up-close: her book takes place in hallowed businesses that many of us only know by their online presences, and it’s an eye-opening look....If you want a good peek into tech businesses and, possibly, the future, find ‘Valley of the Gods’ and give it a try."—HOUSTON STYLE MAGAZINE
"Captures the absurdity of this brave new world, pierces the hype but also conveys the dreams and the passions that can shape a world's economy."—USA Today --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Alexandra Wolfe is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and writes the weekly column "Weekend Confidential." After graduating from Duke University, she worked as a staff reporter for the New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, and then Conde Nast Portfolio. As a freelancer, she wrote regular columns for Bloomberg Businessweek, features for Travel + Leisure and Departures, and has written cover stories for Vanity Fair and Town & Country. The Valley of the Gods is her first book. She lives in New York City.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First, and most importantly, the author doesn't bother to tell us what the book is about in any clear way until her conclusion. You might think that it's about the Theil fellows. If so why does she abandon their story for all or most of chapters at a time? You might think is a rather one-sided view of a libertine, amoral, workaholic and self-centered society that is the world of Silicon Valley. But then why does she switch settings to other places and ignore the perfectly normal majority of people living and working there? If it's about the Theil programs disrupting the college trajectory, why does she suddenly have a chapter about great and valuable programs at Stanford?
It's confusing, off-putting, and a bit passive-aggressive. It makes for a book that plugs into the counter-culture myth of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, presenting a one-sided and only partially true picture. It is about as realistic a picture of Palo Alto as the hot-tub-and peacock-feathers documentary by CBS in the late 70's was of Marin.
A less important problem is that the author throws around words without ever really defining them. She'll talk about the "libertarian" tendencies of a polyamorous community, without ever saying that what this is is libertine living, not libertarian., even though there political philosophy may be that. Often she sounds as if her descriptions of companies and living situations came straight out of an elevator speech.
She also seems to have little historical knowledge to beef up her text. It's as if, mostly, the Internet world spring fully-formed and ready to explode in the late 1990's. To someone who has participated or watched the growth of technology since the 1970's, this is infuriating. And her bias towards the young doesn't stop there. She paints portraits often of under-30 entrepreneurs. But when a mentor is older, as is the case with many people she cites, age and past experience are left out.
Yes, ultimately she does question the value of the portrait she has painted in the entire rest of the book. Yes, she does bring up critiques of this life, this technology, and this philosophy. But not only are her conclusions not surprising to the moderately attentive observer, they come as too little, too late.
"...STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] professionals are the mandarins of [this] computer age--and...our view of reality may turn out to be every bit as blinkered as the things 'everyone' knew in the inner courts of Versailles or St. Petersburg or the Forbidden Palace. There is a certain smell to the lies that privileged intellectuals tell each other in deeply divided societies during the last few gilded years before the streets catch fire."
--from "Books" column by Chris Moriarty in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Sept./Oct. 2015