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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
At the height of the Internet gold rush, business books that lavished praise on protean, overvalued, and largely unproven companies were all the rage; as the technology gold rush came to its inevitable close, memoirs written by disillusioned dot-com survivors were rushed into production by publishers who thought they might have the next Liar's Poker on their hands. Leave it to John Cassidy, a staff writer at The New Yorker known for his astute coverage of the financial world, to write the first book that puts the Internet era into its proper historical context as a postCold War phenomenon catapulted to extreme heights by self-proclaimed pundits, money-hungry entrepreneurs, and a media culture that thrives on its own recycled hot air. If you want the unvarnished truth about an age defined by hubris and hype, dot.con is most definitely a book you'll enjoy.
Cassidy begins his story with a look at some of the milestones that preceded the Internet boom: inventor Vannevar Bush's vision of a proto-computer called the "memex"; Tim Berners-Lee's creation of the World Wide Web; the birth of Netscape and Yahoo!; and, of course, the stock market's propensity toward speculative bubbles. After providing the reader with this necessary historical grounding, Cassidy goes on to discuss the emergence of the Internet as a commercial property and the ways in which the media helped sell the public on companies whose long-term prospects were about as tangible as smoke. I thought Cassidy's narrative was at its best during these chapters, his writing gaining increasing power as the self-important posturing and self-evident greed of everyone involved pushes the markets into the euphoric state that typically precedes collapse.
dot.con is an enjoyable, informative, revealing book that will help you finally put the dramatics highs and lows of the past few years into perspective. (Sunil Sharma)