The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (Hardcover)

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The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.

Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets," where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification."

The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit -- at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future.

With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future -- if we let it.

About the Author

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita, Harvard Business School. She is the author of In The Age of the Smart Machine: the Future of Work and Power and The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her BA from the University of Chicago. For more information see:

Praise For…

An International Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
A Sunday Times (UK) Best Business Book of the Year
Selected by Barack Obama, Zadie Smith (in the Wall Street Journal), Jia Tolentino (in the New Yorker), Elif Shafak (in the Guardian), and Ana Botin (in Bloomberg) as one of the best books of 2019
Finalist for the Financial Times/McKinsey Best Book of the Year Award

"If a book's importance is gauged by how effectively it describes the world we're in, and how much potential it has to change said world, then in my view it's easily the most important book to be published this century... Zuboff is concerned with the largest act of capitalist colonisation ever attempted, but the colonisation is of our minds, our behaviour, our free will, our very selves. Yet it's not an anti-tech book. It's anti unregulated capitalism, red in tooth and claw. It's really this generation's Das Kapital."
Zadie Smith

"An original and often
brilliant work
, and it arrives at a crucial moment, when the public and its
elected representatives are at last grappling with the extraordinary power of
digital media and the companies that control it. Like another recent masterwork
of economic analysis, Thomas Piketty's 2013 Capital in the Twenty-First
, the book challenges assumptions, raises uncomfortable questions
about the present and future, and stakes out ground for a necessary and overdue
Shoshana Zuboff has aimed an unsparing light onto the shadowy new
landscape of our lives. The picture is not pretty."—Nicholas Carr, LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS

"From the very first page I was consumed
with an overwhelming imperative: everyone needs to read this book as an act of
digital self-defense
. With tremendous lucidity and moral courage, Zuboff
demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they
are being rapidly and radically changed in the process. The hour is late
and much has been lost already-but as we learn in these indispensable pages, there is
still hope for emancipation."—Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and No Logo, and Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University

"Many adjectives
could be used to describe Shoshana Zuboff's latest book: groundbreaking,
magisterial, alarming, alarmist, preposterous. One will do: unmissable.
.. As we
grope around in the darkness trying to grasp the contours of our digital era, The
Age of Surveillance Capitalism
shines a searing light on how this latest
revolution is transforming our economy, politics, society - and lives."—John Thornhill, FINANCIAL TIMES

... Absorbing Zuboff's methodical determination, the way she pieces
together sundry examples into this comprehensive work of scholarship and
synthesis, requires patience, but the rewards are considerable - a heightened
sense of awareness, and a deeper appreciation of what's at stake. A business
model that seeks growth by cataloging our 'every move, emotion, utterance and
desire' is too radical to be taken for granted. As Zuboff repeatedly says near
the end of the book, 'It is not O.K.'"—Jennifer Szalai, NEW YORK TIMES

"The rare volume that puts a name on a problem just as it becomes critical... This book's major contribution is to give a name to what's happening, to put it in cultural and historical perspective, and to ask us to pause long enough to think about the future and how it might be different from today."—Frank Rose, WALL STREET JOURNAL

"An intensively
researched, engagingly written chronicle of surveillance capitalism's origins
and its deleterious prospects for our society... [Zuboff's] after something
bigger, providing a scaffolding of critical thinking from which to examine the
great crises of the digital age... This is the rare book that we should trust to
lead us down the long hard road of understanding

"Shoshana Zuboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is already drawing comparisons to seminal socioeconomic investigations like Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and Karl Marx's "Capital." Zuboff's book deserves these comparisons and more: Like the former, it's an alarming exposé about how business interests have poisoned our world, and like the latter, it provides a framework to understand and combat that poison. But The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, named for the now-popular term Zuboff herself coined five years ago, is also a masterwork of horror. It's hard to recall a book that left me as haunted as Zuboff's, with its descriptions of the gothic algorithmic daemons that follow us at nearly every instant of every hour of every day to suck us dry of metadata. Even those who've made an effort to track the technology that tracks us over the last decade or so will be chilled to their core by Zuboff, unable to look at their surroundings the same way."—Sam Biddle, THE INTERCEPT

Age of Surveillance Capitalism
is brilliant and essential
. Shoshana Zuboff
reveals capitalism's most dangerous frontier with stunning clarity: The new
economic order of surveillance capitalism founded on extreme inequalities
of knowledge and power. Her sweeping analysis demonstrates the unprecedented
challenges to human autonomy, social solidarity, and democracy perpetrated by
this rogue capitalism. Zuboff's book finally empowers us to understand and
fight these threats effectively--a
masterpiece of rare conceptual daring, beautifully written and deeply
Robert B. Reich, author of The Common Good and Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few

expansive, erudite, deeply-researched exploration of digital futures elucidates
the norms and hidden terminal goals of information-intensive industries. Zuboff's book is the information industry's
Silent Spring."
Chris Hoofnagle, University of California, Berkeley

"My mind is blown on every page by the depth of Shoshana's research, the breadth of her knowledge, the rigor of her intellect, and finally by the power of her arguments. I'm not sure we can end the age of surveillance capitalism without her help, and that's why I believe this is the most important book of our time."—Doc Searls, author of The Intention Economy, editor-in-chief, Linux Journal

the future, if people still read books, they will view this as the classic study of how everything
changed. The Age of Surveillance
is a masterpiece
that stunningly reveals the essence of twenty-first-century society, and offers
a dire warning about technology gone awry that we ignore at our peril.
Zuboff has somehow escaped from the fishbowl in which we all now live, and
introduced to us the concept of water. A work of penetrating intellect, this is
also a deeply human book about what is becoming, as it relentlessly
demonstrates, a dangerously inhuman time."—Kevin Werbach, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust

"A panoramic exploration of one of the most urgent
issues of our times
Zuboff reinterprets contemporary capitalism through the prism of the digital
revolution, producing a book of immense ambition and erudition. Zuboff is one
of our most prescient and profound thinkers on the rise of the digital. In an
age of inane Twitter soundbites and narcissistic Facebook posts, Zuboff's
serious scholarship is great cause for celebration."—Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future

"Zuboff is a strikingly original voice, simultaneously bold and wise, eloquent and passionate, learned and accessible. Read this book to understand the inner workings of today's digital capitalism, its threats to twenty-first century society, and the reforms we must make for a better tomorrow."—Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Author of The Black Box Society

"Shoshana Zuboff has
produced the most provocative compelling moral framework thus far for
understanding the new realities of our digital environment and its
anti-democratic threats
. From now on, all serious writings on the internet
and society will have to take into account with The Age of Surveillance
."—Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Chair Professor, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania

"The defining challenge for the future of the market
economy is the concentration of data, knowledge, and surveillance power. Not
just our privacy but our individuality is at stake, and this very readable and thought-provoking
book alerts us to these existential dangers. Highly recommended."—Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail

will make a guarantee: Assuming we survive to tell the tale, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has a high probability of
joining the likes Adam Smith's The Wealth
of Nations
and Max Weber's Economy
and Society
as defining social-economics texts of modern times
. It is
not a 'quick read'; it is to be savored and re-read and discussed with
colleagues and friends. No zippy one-liners from me, except to almost literally
beg you to read/ingest this book."—Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence

"One of the most
important criticisms of the power of Big Tech."—Rana Foroohar, FINANCIAL TIMES

"Chilling and
essential."—GLOBE AND MAIL

"A book that no tech
industry official will want the American public to read... One of the true joys
of this insanely brilliant, deeply unsettling book is how fluidly Ms. Zuboff's
style incorporates jargon, analogy, research and memoir."—PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

"The most ambitious
attempt yet to paint the bigger picture and to explain how the effects of
digitisation that we are now experiencing as individuals and citizens have come
about... A continuation of a tradition that includes Adam Smith, Max Weber, Karl
Polanyi and-dare I say it-Karl Marx... A striking and illuminating book."—THE OBSERVER

"Eye-opening...she raises questions about businesses that mine personal data, manipulate our desires for instantaneous information, and encourage us to narcissistically display our egos and foibles on social media platforms."—SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

"Staggeringly brilliant."—WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

"A warning bell, sounded clearly for both the people in danger and of those with the power to do something to keep them safe... a truly sobering shock to the system, a call for ordinary people to re-assert control before it's too late."—THE NATIONAL (UAE)

"A definitive, stunning analysis of how digital giants like Google, Facebook, etc. have single-mindedly pursued data on human behavior as fodder for generating predictions and shaping outcomes salable to advertisers and others...The scope of her analysis is extraordinary; in addition to covering philosophical, social, and political implications she discusses needed privacy regulation...This book is pathbreaking, illuminating, and unnerving."—CHOICE

Product Details
ISBN: 9781610395694
ISBN-10: 1610395697
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: January 15th, 2019
Pages: 704
Language: English