The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
A New Yorker and Fortune Best Book of the Year
A must-read for all Americans who want to remain the ones deciding what they can read, watch, and listen to." --Arianna Huffington
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 the Internet's future is brewing, and this is one war we dare not tune out.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - sdmouton - LibraryThing
3.5 stars, a wonderful history of telecommunications empires. I'm not sure I agree with the conclusions Wu draws, but that is probably my technological idealism overpowering reason. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ohernaes - LibraryThing
Goes through the modern "information" businesses in the US - telephone, radio, television and film, and internet. A recurrent theme is how upstarts become (power-abusing) empires. The communication ... Read full review
PARTI The Rise
The Disrupti Founder
Mr Vail Is a Big Man
The Time Is Not Ripe for Feature Films
Centralize All Radio Activities
The Paramount Ideal
We Now Add Sight to Sound
The Rebels the Challengers and the Fall
The Right Kind of Breakup
The Radicalism of the Internet Revolution
Esperanto for Machines
Reborn Without a Soul