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The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business Paperback – 30 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184854622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848546226
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This is a book that defines both the nature of the new world which the internet is creating; and its challenges. It describes a technological revolution in the making. How we navigate it is a challenge for countries, communities and citizens. There are no two people better equipped to explain what it means than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen' (Tony Blair)

'At last, a brilliant guide book for the next century - what the future holds for entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, politicians and ordinary citizens alike. Schmidt and Cohen offer a dazzling glimpse into how the new digital revolution is changing our lives. This book is the most insightful exploration of our future world that I have ever read, and once I started reading I was simply unable to put it down' (Sir Richard Branson)

'Every day, technological innovations are giving people around the world new opportunities to shape their own destinies. In this fascinating book, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen draw upon their unique experiences to show us a future of rising incomes, growing participation, and a genuine sense of community - if we make the right choices today' (Bill Clinton)

'Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen's thoughtful, well-researched work elucidates the staggering impact of technology on our daily lives, as well as what surprising and incredible developments the future may hold. Readers might be left with more questions than answers, but that's the idea - we are at our best when we ask "What's next?"' (Elon Musk)

'Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced a searching meditation on technology and world order. Even those who disagree with some of their conclusions will learn much from this thought-provoking volume' (Henry A. Kissinger)

'The New Digital Age is must reading for anyone who wants to truly understand the depths of the digital revolution. Combining the skills of a social scientist and a computer scientist, Cohen and Schmidt blend the technical and the human, the scientific and the political, in ways I rarely saw while in government. They challenge the reader's imagination on almost every page. Indeed, what will be the impact of virtual and physical worlds coexisting, the first generation of humans to have an indelible record, or more frequent revolutions without resolution as the digital age nurtures more celebrities than leaders. And these questions are just the beginning. Read on' (General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA)

'This is the book I have been waiting for: a concise and persuasive description of technology's impact on war, peace, freedom and diplomacy. The New Digital Age is a guide to the future written by two experts who possess a profound understanding of humanity's altered prospects in a wireless world. There are insights on every page and surprising conclusions (and questions) in every chapter. For experts and casual readers alike, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced an indispensable book' (Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State)

'This is the most important - and fascinating - book yet written about how the digital age will affect our world. With vivid examples and brilliant analysis, it shows how the internet and other communications technologies will empower individuals and transform the way nations and businesses operate. How will different societies make tradeoffs involving privacy, freedom, control, security, and the relationship between the physical and virtual worlds? This realistic but deeply optimistic book provides the guideposts. It's both profoundly wise and wondrously readable' (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs)

'The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business offers an intriguing fusion of ideas and insights about how the virtual world is intersecting with the "Westphalian order". It seeks a balance between the discontinuities of technologists' "revolutions" and the traditionalism of internationalists' study of states, power, and behaviour. The authors explain that technology is not a panacea, yet the uses of technology can make a world of difference. This book should launch a valuable debate about the practical implications of this new connectivity for citizens and policy makers, societies and governments' (Robert B. Zoellick)

'Few people in the world are doing more to imagine - and build - The New Digital Age than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. With this book, they are looking into their crystal ball and inviting the world to peek in' (Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Mayor)

'We have long needed an incisive study of how the ever evolving world of technology leaves almost no aspect of life unchanged. We have it in The New Digital Age. Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen offer a rigorous approach to decoding what the future holds in a story that is as well written and entertaining as it is important' (General Brent Scowcroft)

'Starting with a simple, powerful and terrifying observation - that "the internet is among the few things humans have built that they don't truly understand" - this fascinating book takes you on a wonderfully stimulating and important journey. It will make you rethink your concepts of the digital age, the way the world works, what lies ahead, and what all this means for you, your family and your community. You don't need to know much about technology to benefit from this incredibly insightful book. Using their repeatedly-tested talents and their highly successful experiences, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen brilliantly detail for us how the digital age is rapidly altering the balance of power between citizens and governments, between the physical and virtual worlds, and between good and bad. Whether we like or not, technology is fundamentally changing the manner in which we all interact and depend on each other - and in an accelerating manner whose scale and scope remain obscure for too many of us. This brilliant book is a must read for all those seeking to understand, and navigate well a fundamental structural shift that will play a critical role in determining the wellbeing of current and future generations' (Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pimco)

Serious and informative . . . this is an important book, partly as an account of what may happen, but mainly as a picture of the present mind-set of Silicon Valley (Sunday Times)

Schmidt and Cohen are right to point to the disruptive effects of pervasive new communications medium such as the internet either to liberate or to destabilise, depending on which side of the fence you are on (Financial Times)

The New Digital Age is the most ambitious attempt to date to sketch the contours of the world that will emerge as a result of the penetration of electronic networking into every corner of the globe and every part of people's lives . . . the thoroughness is - to use a sophomore cliché - awesome (Observer)

The writers are at their most persuasive when talking about the link between people and technology: their faith in human ingenuity leads to an optimistic vision . . . a clear and thorough thesis suggesting that the world we are forging with the web is a better one than we have at the moment (Sunday Telegraph)

The New Digital Age is a considered work (The Economist)

Though Schmidt chairs Google and Cohen runs its think tank, they avoid corporate propaganda in this far-reaching survey (i)

Makes sense of the infinite and terrifying possibilities of tomorrow (People Management)

Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen tease apart the potential influence of technology on politics, security and daily life in The New Digital Age (The Times)

A perceptive insight into where Silicon Valley is taking us all (TLS Books of the Year)

A serious, informative and important book (Sunday Times)

Book Description

The must-read book for anyone concerned about the present and the future

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Angus Jenkinson VINE VOICE on 11 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realise that this book is written by two supermen of our digital era, no doubt with the help of considerable professional support. It's dazzling with information and makes a ringing endorsement of the hype of our digital age. To criticise it will be to generate no doubt a host of unfavourable comment and accusations of being mired in the past. But honestly, although the research on the technologies themselves is excellent - full marks here - this is so framed in adulation it becomes just another overhyped unrealistic catalogue of how technology will save the world.

Technology is brilliant – I love my iPad, the kettle that makes my coffee that's been brought to me by a fair trade value stream all the way from Brazil, the fact that I can post this review into the Internet and it can be read by millions if they wish, that I can talk by Skype to my friends and work colleagues in Australia, America or Denmark, and all at the same time. I love pacemakers and cybernetically controlled automobiles that auto drive. I've made a career in technology since my 20s and worked with many of the world's leading technology firms as a consultant.

But for those reasons I know how easy it is to turn technology into the wonder working Merlin, the magician that will solve all problems, when it cannot and won't.

Let me tell you what the generation of technology pioneers in the 70s and early 80s of last century genuinely believed (I worked for IBM at the time). We believe that in 30 years time, by the beginning of the 21st-century, most people would not need to work more than three days a week and our standard of living would be much greater. Why was this? It was because the computer and robotics were going to remove the necessity to work.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pack TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book comes with impressive credentials. The authors have excellent technology and foreign policy experience. The pair of quotes on the cover are from people with their own brilliance too - Richard Branson and Walter Isaacson. The subject - how digital technology is changing nearly every aspect of our life - is one that fascinates me. So why did I feel getting to the end of it was all rather a slog?

Because it's written in a very flat style. The prose is plain - in a workmanlike rather than Ernest Hemingway sense. The colourful examples are rare and the personal stories to engage the reader few and far between. It's almost as if they had read a Malcolm Gladwell book and gone for a writing style as far different from him as possible.

The other reason that I found it a bit of a slog is that there is nothing much very new in their forecasting. If you've already consumed many words on this topic, it is mostly all very familiar territory. Overall, the book is rather like a large collection of expert, slightly dry, op-ed pieces on the digital world strung together. Each individually is well worth a read, but collectively you would hope for a bit more spark and liveliness.

Conversely, if you haven't, then the book certainly does a good job at thoroughly covering all the angles and mentioning all the main trends. It is also interesting to read what two people so deeply immersed in Google have to say about privacy (it's a crucial part of the future, they argue).

In summary then, the book is a comprehensive summary of existing predictions and trends rather than something that will wow you with original insight or fascinate you with the way the tale is told.
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By Steen on 8 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
Saw the book by incidence. Flipping through the cover one could easy have thought the authors had received a Nobel price for the book judging the number of endorsements from Henry Kissinger, Walter Isaacson, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton and a long list of other dignitaries. To some degree I did what one shouldn't which is judge a book by its cover.

Eric and Jared has done a good job in explaining the inter-net's ability to in Thomas Friedman's words - "flatten the world". Not only has digital technology served as a tools, but weapons as well.

Not that there is a lot of eye-popping information however the authors have done a great job in tying together the events that the world has seen over the last decade. A good example is the social effect communications lines were used during the Arab Spring. Here it is not just how Facebook and Twitter was used, but the causes, effects and consequences were as well.

Still have a few pages to go and though a slightly abbreviated version might have been good I will recommended the book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By palimpest on 23 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It says a lot about the digital age that the two authors who have been privileged to be exposed to so much in the world come up with so little. Some general musings about how technology will influence daily lives followed by some rather simplistic interpretations of how this will affect social and economic change. One of their points rings true: in the digital age people will be promoted (in both senses of the word) beyond any substance that would merit it. Disappointing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Wilder on 24 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shortly after reading the book, I saw two separate articles in the New York Times The first announced a joint venture with NASA in quantum computing to be used in amongst other things, facial recognition. The second was the roll-out of Google glasses, with a disclaimer about proper protection of privacy. Credible denial? No. The cruel fact is that the cyber war between China and the West is well underway. Schmidt and Cohen have with stark clarity introduced us to our present - and to our immediate future that lays out a stark vision of a world where personal rights become meaningless, privacy is a memory by old people and there is no boundary between private and public life. Any person concerned with the politics of urban life, intellectual freedom and the difference between knowledge and wisdom should read this book and ponder the implications for public policy concerning the rights of the individual, intellectual freedom and proper structure of education.
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