Author:Doherty, Brian
Position:BOOK - Brief article - Book review

A gang of "hackers, founders, and freaks"--as the subtitle of the revelatory oral history Valley of Genius puts it--created the digital world that many of us now live in. Even if the cast of characters were not a colorfully brilliant and contentious gang, their role in forging the 21st century online experience would make the book required reading.

With zero narrative hand-holding from author Adam Fisher, the book relays the visionary, hilarious, and often self-aggrandizing voices of the founders and early shapers of Atari, Apple, Netscape, Wired magazine, Google, eBay, Napster, Twitter, and other iconic Silicon Valley developments, including virtual reality and the Burning Man festival. Most of Fisher's choices are obvious, but one rewardingly obscure choice is a chapter devoted to the ur-snarky web 'zine (to which I contributed many essays in the 1990s). Fisher believes that site forged the style of most future web content.

Those dismayed by the business...

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