Barack Obama Names Shoshana Zuboff’s Age of Surveillance Capitalism to His Favorite Books of 2019
In his year-end celebration of his favorite books of 2019, Barack Obama names Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism—a groundbreaking analysis of the intersection of the monetization of private data, big tech, the economy, and society—one of his top books.
Not only has Zuboff’s in-depth exploration of a growing phenomenon—the titular surveillance capitalism—captured the imagination of the 44th President of the United States, it’s also earned a place among many other notable year-end lists: think, TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019, Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2019, and one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019, and more.
Drawing frequent comparison to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) for its shocking insight into a developing, widespread issue not yet common knowledge to the general public, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism took both the literary and tech communities by storm this year. Called “epoch-defining” by the Guardian, and an “unmissable classic that everyone should read” by the Financial Times, Zuboff deftly explores how our individual choices are becoming not only predicted, but controlled, by the companies to which we are ceding exorbitant power. As a society, we’re opting to concede our privacy in exchange for increased connection and convenience. It’s not just a new trend—it has real, dangerous ramifications for the economy, and democracy as a whole. Zuboff pulls no punches; but is still optimistic that we can turn the tide toward surveillance capitalism back around.
You can read the Barack Obama’s full list of his favorite books of 2019 here.