The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

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Vintage Books, 2011 - Business & Economics - 368 pages
20 Reviews

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"?

Analyzing the strategic maneuvers of today's great information powers–Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T–Wu uncovers a time-honored pattern in which invention begets industry and industry begets empire. He 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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Review: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

User Review  - Pierre Lauzon - Goodreads

I seldom give 5-star ratings but this 2010 book is a significant history and warning to us all about the ubiquity of information in our lives and what can happen if control of the information or media ... Read full review

Review: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

Excellent history of the succession of information networks from the telegraph to the Internet, and the titanic businesses that built them. But it's much more than that; Wu ties all of this to the ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Reborn Vithout a Soul 205
12
PARTI The Rise
15
The Disruptive Founder 17
16
2 Radio Dreams
33
3 Mr Vail Is a Big Man
45
4 The Time ls Not Ripe for Feature Films
61
Centralize All Radio Activities
74
10 We Now Add Sight to Sound
136
The Rebels the Challengers and the Fall
157
The Right Kind of Breakup
159
12 The Radicalism of the Internet Revolution
168
Nixons Cable
176
Broken Bell
187
15 Esperanto for Machines
196
The Internet Against Everyone
255

6 The Paramount Ideal
86
Beneath the AllQeeing Eye
99
7 The Foreign Attachment
101
The Legion of Decency
115
9 FM Radio
125
20 Father and Son
269
The Separations Principle
300
Acknowledgments 323
322
Index
358
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate and professor at Columbia University, currently serving as Senior Advisor to the United States Federal Trade Commission.  In 2006, he was recognized as one of fifty leaders in science and technology by Scientific American magazine, and in the following year, 01238 magazine listed him as one of Harvard's one hundred most influential graduates. He writes for Slate, where he won the Lowell Thomas gold medal for travel journalism, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Forbes.

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