News & Reviews

Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher

29 Apr 2024 News & Reviews
Acerbic. Iconoclastic. Sui generis.  All fit Kara Swisher, who has chronicled the rise of digital, the reading news not on paper but on mobile phones; of Netflix and streaming services disrupting Hollywood. In sketches of companies and characters, she deflates the egos of egomaniacal Silicon Valley and media titans and billionaires, and their pompous claims to wanting to change the world, make it a better place. They feared her.
Mark Zuckerberg —  ‘one of the most dangerous men the history of technology who didn’t even know it’ — sweated visibly during an on-stage interview. But didn’t dare not talk to her.
“You’re an asshole,” Musk said. “Don’t ever email me again.” She didn’t, but a year later, he emailed her.
She reported on multimillion dollar mergers and take-overs even before all the principals knew. Murdoch’s calls ‘got comical at points,’ she writes, ‘as the news-digger in chief tried to extract information for deals he was clearly working on.’ He asked her if he should buy Yahoo. “Fat chance,” she responded.
After suffering a mild stroke, Swisher, now on her second wife, with two children by each, concluded, that “I didn’t want to slow down and that I enjoyed what I do and that I did not want to smell the flowers.”
Breezily written, this is a book to enjoy, as much as she does her work.
— Ray
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