Books of the year 2010 | Bryan Appleyard

You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier

 

I admired Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget: a Manifesto (Allen Lane, £20) for its puncturing of most of the inflated rhetoric about the way the internet will take us to paradise. Marilynne Robinson's Absence of Mind: the Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (Yale University Press, £16.99) is a typically rigorous argument about the nature of modernity from one of the greatest thinkers and novelists of our time. Scott Atran's Talking to the Enemy: Violent Extremism, Sacred Values and What It Means to Be Human (Allen Lane, £25) casts profound light on the how and why of our multiple failures to get inside the terrorist mind.

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This article first appeared in Advantage Cameron

2010-11-22