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Customer Review

on 21 August 2009
Ban Mezrich has written an enjoyable and easy to read account of how Facebook was started by an IT geek Mark Zuckerburg who was a student at Harvard.

The book chronicles the early growth and how the web site grows from being just for Harvard students through its expansion to having several million users.

Most of the book concentrates on the battles that Mark has with one of his co founders Eduardo Saverin, and a pair of other students who asked Mark to work on their web site who end up as Olympic rowers.

The main problem with the book is that Mark Zuckerburg declined to speak to the author about the book. So most of the material is going to have come from the people who are suing or who have sued Mark for what happened after the web site become ultra successful. There are large gaps after Mark leaves Harvard to live in California leaving his fellow co founder in Boston and then New York. The detailed narrative stops in 2005. The author acknowledges that he could not have written the book without Eduardo's help and when the main contributing source is a bitter as Eduardo is after his shareholding is diluted and he is shut out of the business, you have to be slightly sceptical.

The book ignores most of the reasons why Facebook became so successful and all of its recent history. There are a brief couple of pages on the outcome of some of the disputes but to me that's not really enough to give them justice.

The book is written in the same racy style as all of Ben Mezrich's former books, most of which are about gambling or finance. The author has admitted in the introduction that he has adapted some of the situations to make them more readable.

If you are looking for a serious financial history of Facebook, this probably won't be for you. If you are looking something less serious, more exciting and easy to read, this is probably for you
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3.9 out of 5 stars