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The master switch: the rise and fall of information empires

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In this age of an open Internet, it is easy to forget that every American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet--the entire flow of American information--come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of "the master switch"? That is the big question of Tim Wu's pathbreaking book. As Wu's sweeping history shows, each of the new media of the twentieth century--radio, telephone, television, and film--was born free and open. Each invited unrestricted use and enterprising experiment until some would-be mogul battled his way to total domination. Here are stories of an uncommon will to power, the power over information: Adolph Zukor, who took a technology once used as commonly as YouTube is today and made it the exclusive prerogative of a kingdom called Hollywood . . . NBC's founder, David Sarnoff, who, to save his broadcast empire from disruptive visionaries, bullied one inventor (of electronic television) into alcoholic despair and another (this one of FM radio, and his boyhood friend) into suicide . . . And foremost, Theodore Vail, founder of the Bell System, the greatest information empire of all time, and a capitalist whose faith in Soviet-style central planning set the course of every information industry thereafter. Explaining how invention begets industry and industry begets empire--a progress often blessed by government, typically with stifling consequences for free expression and technical innovation alike--Wu identifies a time-honored pattern in the maneuvers of today's great information powers: Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T. A battle royal looms for the Internet's future, and with almost every aspect of our lives now dependent on that network, this is one war we dare not tune out. Part industrial exposé, part meditation on what freedom requires in the information age, The Master Switch is a stirring illumination of a drama that has played out over decades in the shadows of our national life and now culminates with terrifying implications for our future.
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Grouped Work ID 3e0b9c5b-a509-5a01-239d-bbfda248f3e9
full_title master switch the rise and fall of information empires
author wu tim
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-03-19 22:43:56PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Tim Wu
author_display Wu, Tim
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction

A New Yorker and Fortune Best Book of the Year
Analyzing the strategic maneuvers of today's great information powers–Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T–Tim Wu uncovers a time-honored pattern in which invention begets industry and industry begets empire.
It is easy to forget that every development in the history of the American information industry–from the telephone to radio to film–once existed in an open and chaotic marketplace inhabited by entrepreneurs and utopians, just as the Internet does today. Each of these, however, grew to be dominated by a monopolist or cartel. In this pathbreaking book, Tim Wu asks: will the Internet follow the same fate? Could the Web–the entire flow of American information–come to be ruled by a corporate leviathan in possession of "the master switch"? Here, Tim Wu shows how a battle royale for Internet's future is brewing, and this is one war we dare not tune out.

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id 3e0b9c5b-a509-5a01-239d-bbfda248f3e9
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local_callnumber_catalog 384.041 W9597m
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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primary_isbn 9780307269935
publishDate 2010
record_details ils:CARL0000356391|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Alfred A. Knopf,|c2010.|x, 366 p. : ill. ; 25 cm., overdrive:2bdb149b-1432-4b87-867f-7acfad6999aa|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2010|
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subject_facet Information technology -- History, Mass media -- History, Telecommunication -- History
title_display The master switch : the rise and fall of information empires
title_full The Master Switch The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, The master switch : the rise and fall of information empires / Tim Wu
title_short The master switch :
title_sub the rise and fall of information empires
topic_facet Business, Computer Technology, History, Information technology, Mass media, Nonfiction, Sociology, Telecommunication