For several years, New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz has been embedded in two worlds.
The first is the world of social-media entrepreneurs—the new gatekeepers of Silicon Valley—who upended all traditional means of receiving and transmitting information with little forethought, but heaps of reckless ambition. The second is the world of the people he calls the gate-crashers—the conspiracists, white supremacists, and nihilist trolls who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. In his first book, Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation, Marantz weaves these two worlds together to create a sweeping, unsettling portrait of today’s America—online and IRL. Unsparing and precise, Marantz’s book—“trenchant and intelligent; wry but not glib; humane but never indulgent” (New York Times)—is vitally important for 2020 and beyond.