Live Free or Die? Death, Life, Survival, and Sobriety on the Information Superhighway the Death of Distance

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: David Shenk, Esther Dyson, Freeman Dyson
  • Pages : 21 (6195 words )
  • Download(s) : 73
  • Published : April 24, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Live Free or Die? Death, Life, Survival, and Sobriety on the Information Superhighway The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives by Frances Cairncross; Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age by Esther Dyson; Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut by David Shenk; Rewired: A Brief (and Opinionated) Net History by David Hudson Review by: Roy Rosenzweig American Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 160-174 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30041637 . Accessed: 10/03/2013 07:37 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

.

The Johns Hopkins University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to American Quarterly.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded on Sun, 10 Mar 2013 07:37:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

BOOK REVIEWS

Live Free Or Die? Death, Life, Survival,And Sobriety On The InformationSuperhighway ROYROSENZWEIG George Mason University

The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives. By Frances Cairncross. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1997. 303 pages. $24.95. Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age. By Esther Dyson. New York: Broadway Books, 1997. 307 pages. $25.00. Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut. By David Shenk. San Francisco: HarperEdge, 1997. 250 pages. $24.00. Rewired: A Brief (and Opinionated) Net History. By David Hudson in association with eLine Productions. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing, 1997. 327 pages. $29.99. WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL'S FIRST DISPLAY OF HIS

telephone at the 1876 Centennial Exposition, Scientific American promised that the new device would bring a greater "kinship of humanity" and "nothing less than a new organization of society." Others were less sanguine, worrying that telephones would spread germs through the wires, destroy local accents, and give authoritariangovernments a listening box in the homes of their subjects. The Knights of Columbus fretted that phones might wreck home life, stop people from visiting friends, and create a nation of slugs who would not stir from their desks.' Roy Rosenzweig is a CAS DistinguishedScholarin history and Directorof the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. He is co-author(with David Thelen) of the recentlypublishedThePresence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life. His currentwork focuses on the history of the Internet. AmericanQuarterly,Vol. 51, No. 1 (March 1999) © 1999 AmericanStudiesAssociation 160

This content downloaded on Sun, 10 Mar 2013 07:37:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

LIVE FREE OR DIE?

161

predictions utopiaor doomhaveaccompanied of Extravagant most new communications technologies,and the same rhetoricof celebrationand denunciation envelopedthe Internet.For Wiredmagazinepublisher has Louis Rossetto, the digital revolutionpromises "social changes so prothe According foundthattheironly parallelis probably discoveryof fire." to Iraq'sofficial government Al-Jumhuriya, Internet newspaper, the spells "theend of civilizations,cultures,interests,and ethics."2 The fourbooks reviewedherepartake this samebifurcated of tendency towardvisions of utopiaanddystopia-even if none is quiteas hyperbolic as the respective mouthpiecesof the "digitalrevolution"and Saddam Hussein.These accountsprovideimportant insightsinto the current state of the...
tracking img