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The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 4 Oct 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House USA Ex (18 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385352018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385352017
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 781,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Comprehensive and conscientious...Wu writes with elegance and clarity...[his] chapters about the early days of advertising are some of this book's most enjoyable, easily serving as a reader's companion to "Mad Men." Mr. Wu concludes his book with a cri de coeur, imploring us to regain custody of our attention, written so rousingly that it just may make you reconsider your priorities."
-Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

" [is] a skilled thinker...he applies the thesis of a business cycle to explain the development of the advertising market and the ways in which it has adapted to avoid our natural inclination to ignore it...Wu dramatizes this push and pull to great effect...a "Hidden Persuaders" for the 21st century, just as we stand squarely on the threshold of a post-broadcast world where the algorithmic nano-targeting of electronic media knows our desires and impulses before we know them ourselves."
-Emily Bell, The New York Times Book Review

"A startling and sweeping examination of the increasingly ubiquitous commercial effort to capture and commodify our attention...We've become the consumers, the producers, and the content. We are selling ourselves to ourselves."
--Tom Vanderbilt, The New Republic

-Jacob Weisberg, The New York Review of Books

"Lively...An engrossing study of what we hate about commercial media...Vigorous and amusing, filled with details of colorful hucksterism and cunning attention-grabbing ploys along with revealing insights into the behavioral quirks they instill in us."
--Publisher's Weekly

"Part history and part social wake up call, this book is for everyone."
--Library Journal

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Tim Wu has written a profoundly important book on a problem that doesn't get enough-- well, attention. Attention itself has become the currency of the information age, and, as Wu meticulously and eloquently demonstrates, we allow it to be bought and sold at our peril."
-James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History

"I couldn't put this fascinating book down. Gripping from page one with its insight, vivid writing, and panoramic sweep, The Attention Merchants is also a book of urgent importance, revealing how our preeminent industries work to fleece our consciousness rather than help us cultivate it."
-Amy Chua, Yale law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Triple Package

"Television entranced the masses. Digital media, more insidiously, mesmerizes each of us individually. In this revelatory book, Tim Wu tells the story of how advertisers and programmers came to seize control of our eyes and minds. The Attention Merchants deserves everyone's attention."
-Nicholas Carr, author of Utopia Is Creepy and The Shallows

"The question of how to get people to care about something important to you is central to religion, government, commerce, and the arts. For more than a century, America has experimented with buying and selling this attention, and Wu's history of that experiment is nothing less than a history of the human condition and its discontents."
-Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

About the Author

TIM WU is an author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia University, best known for coining the term "net neutrality." In 2006, Scientific American named him one of 50 leaders in science and technology; in 2007, 01238 magazine listed him as one of Harvard's 100 most influential graduates; in 2013, National Law Journal included him in "America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers"; and in 2014 and 2015, he was named to the "Politico 50." He formerly wrote for Slate, where he won the Lowell Thomas Gold medal for Travel Journalism, and is a contributing writer for The New Yorker. In 2015, he was appointed to the Executive Staff of the Office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a senior enforcement counsel and special adviser.

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Top customer reviews

14 February 2017
Format: Hardcover

Most helpful customer reviews on 4.4 out of 5 stars 94 reviews
Old Observer
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Read
22 December 2016 - Published on
Verified Purchase
17 people found this helpful.
Mickey P.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood book, but spends a majority of it's time on pre-internet advertising.
25 January 2018 - Published on
Verified Purchase
12 people found this helpful.
Andrew Montalenti
5.0 out of 5 starsA good history of the advertising industry, rethought as the reaping and sowing of human attention through the ages
18 July 2017 - Published on
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
Geezer Geek
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent read and recommended for anyone that wants to understand the modern world
20 July 2017 - Published on
Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.

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