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From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism Hardcover – 10 Oct 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (10 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226817415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226817415
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,583,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"A compelling history of a critical individual and his circle. . . . For professionals in the field of information dissemination and management, much can be learned by reading this fascinating and highly recommended study."--Tom Schneiter "College and Research Libraries "

"With its countercurrents and nuances, [the book] recalls works of the highest standard that also address technology's interactions with national culture: David E. Nye's "American Technological Sublime" (1994) comes to mind, as does Norman Mailer's 'Of a Fire on the Moon' (1971). . . . One of the many strengths . . . is that [the book] articulates the sociological forces that created this revolution in our time. Twenty-nine dollars will never buy you more book than this."--Giles Slade "Los Angeles Times "

"In Turner's meticulously detailed . . . book, he postulates that Brand was an idealistic (albeit Barnum-esque) leader of a merry band of cybernetic pranksters who framed the concept of computers and the Internet with a seemingly nonintuitive twist: These one-time engines of government and big business had transmogrified into a social force associated with egalitarianism, personal empowerment, and the nurturing cocoon of community."--Steven Levy "Bookforum "

"The links this book makes between the world of the counterculture and the world of high technology make it important reading for anyone teaching or writing about the 1960s."--Ross Knox Bassett "Journal of American History "

"This tale of cultural changes and personalities involved with the evolution of computer culture is well worth reading."--Susan B. Barnes "Technology & Culture "

"A foundational text. . . . [What] scholars will find is a thorough and thoughtful history of how the anti-establishment, communitarian dreams of a segment of the sixties counterculture were uploaded into the high-tech ethos of Silicon Valley, and from there into the world at large."--William Bryant "Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies "

"Turner's fascinating From Counterculture to Cyberculture gives us a detailed look at one slice through this marvelous story. Unlike many other histories that focus on the technical innovators . . . this account focuses on a key player whose role was making the counterculture-cyberculture connection: Stewart Brand. . . . There are a myriad of fascinating little historical details that [Turner] dug up that will surprise and enlighten even the key players in the drama."--Henry Lieberman "Science "

"Brand's trajectory from arty 60s mayhem to the halls of Congress reflects, Turner argues, a realisation that 'the natural world and the social world really were all one system of information exchange.'"--Mike Holderness "New Scientist "

"From Counterculture to Cyberculture is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the new economy and from whence it came. This is a book that belongs in both graduate and undergraduate classrooms, not just for its scholarly message but for the deep chill it leaves behind."--Stephen R. Barley "Administrative Science Quarterly "

"Fred Turner's richly detailed history of how the alliance between the counterculture and digirati was formed is a fascinating story demonstrating that the computer's metaphoric implications are never simply the result of the technology itself. Engrossing, deeply researched, and rich with implications, From Counterculture to Cyberculture is highly recommended for anyone interested in how technological objects attain meaning within social and historical contexts."

--N. Katherine Hayles "N. Katherine Hayles "


In "From Counterculture to Cyberculture", Fred Turner details the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, via such familiar venues as the National Book Award - winning "Whole Earth Catalog", the computer-conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers.While tracing the extraordinary transformation of how our networked culture came to be, Turner's fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think.

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6 February 2011
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.7 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsInsight into America's cultural transformation
3 July 2008 - Published on
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12 people found this helpful.
Chris A. Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Important book about a major influence of the 60's through the 90's
22 May 2007 - Published on
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6 people found this helpful.
Roger Brindle
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant cultural history based in part on Stewart Brand's personal ...
25 November 2015 - Published on
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Douglas Kamp
5.0 out of 5 starsGood job on a great topic
15 March 2010 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsUnusually intriguing, yet true...
19 February 2014 - Published on
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