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Burn Book

By: Kara Swisher
Narrated by: Kara Swisher
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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning journalist Kara Swisher comes a witty, scathing, but fair accounting of the tech industry and its founders who wanted to change the world but broke it instead.

While tech titans bragged they would 'move fast and break things', Kara Swisher was moving faster and breaking news. Covering the explosion of the digital sector in the early 1990s, she developed a long track record of digging up and reporting the truth of this new world order. Her consistent scoops drove one CEO to accuse her of "listening in the heating ducts" and for Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg to once say: 'It is a constant joke in the Valley when people write memos for them to say, "I hope Kara never sees this."'

Burn Book is part memoir, part history and, most of all, a necessary recounting of tech's most powerful players. This is the inside story we've all been waiting for of modern Silicon Valley and the biggest boom in wealth creation in the history of the world.

While still in college, Swisher got her start at The Washington Post, where she became one of the few people in journalism interested in the emerging field of tech. She was among the first to recognize the potential of the internet, accurately predicting that 'everything that could be digitized, would be digitized.' She went on to work for The Wall Story Journal, joining with Walt Mossberg to start the groundbreaking AllThingsD conference, as well as pioneering online tech sites.

It's only a slight exaggeration to say Swisher has interviewed everyone. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Bob Iger, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Meg Whitman, Peter Thiel, and Mark Zuckerberg are just a few who Swisher made sweat-figuratively and, in one famous case, literally.

Despite the damage she chronicles, Swisher remains optimistic about tech's potential to help solve problems and not just create them. She calls upon the industry to make better, more thoughtful choices, even as a new set of powerful AI tools are poised to change the world yet again. At its heart, this book is a love story to, for, and about tech from someone who knows it better than anyone.

Burn Book includes soaring tales of innovation and brilliant entrepreneurs, as well as Silicon Valley's much more complex history of striving, success, and failure. The book details how the commercial internet came into being and how, for all it has given the world, it now sits at the center of global power, creating a clear and present danger to humanity.

©2024 Kara Swisher (P)2024 Hachette Audio UK

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Analysis and insight ++

I thought it was just superb…fascinating stories of the last 30+ years in this industry.
The author has a great voice but at times seemed to rush the words and her voice was sometimes husky…no one is perfect hey, overall riveting.

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amazing chronicle of Kara’s career - what a ride

What a ride Kara has had and continues to have in the ever changing tech industry.
The book messages and musings are genuine, cynical and insightful.

I loved Kara’s many tech industry personality reflections and society ripple implications.
It’s hard not to admire Kara for not taking the money and joining the tech bros. She is amazing.
While i finished the audio book in a few sittings the impact for me will be long lasting.
Great read and I recommend the book

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Inside outside and looking up

As you read Burn Book and wonder about where digital technology has been for the last 35 years and so may be going, watch Walt and Kara interview Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, then fast forward to those leading changes in digital tech today. This allows bookends to the period Kara describes completely from the inside, outside and then as Kara closes, looking up.

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View from the inside of the future

Kara Swisher has a tone of voice that’s instantly appealing - or not. I’m in the former camp and enjoyed being the insider on her shoulder as she looks back
over an impressive and fascinating career. I’m off to sign up for her podcast. More Swisher can’t be bad.

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