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The System


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Who built, funds and governs the internet? An investigative journey into the inner workings of the System, from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

About the Author

James Ball is the Global Editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the author of multiple books, including Post-Truth. He has worked for BuzzFeed, the Guardian and the Washington Post and his reporting projects have won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the Scripps Howard Prize and the British Journalism Award for investigative reporting, among others.


In The System, James Ball takes a critical look at who runs the internet . . . His book is a sprightly history of the internet seen from the perspective of its inventors, investors, custodians, rule-makers and rebels . . . Ball recommends that we should pay far more attention to how the internet works and not allow ourselves to be "bamboozled into inaction" as we were with the finance industry before the 2008 crash * Financial Times *
Ball, with this biography of the internet, takes us beyond Zuckerberg, Bezos et al into a murkier world where we discover how everything online works and who benefits from it. Fascinating, engaging and important, too * Observer *
Ball is a sprightly writer and a master explainer . . . He has a gift for choosing which details to bring forth . . . He does an excellent job here of showing how the system works, where its levers of power are, and how they can be moved. Which is important. It's important because you have an interest too . . . The System could not be more timely * Spectator *
'An illuminating and focused guide on who controls the internet and how it controls us. Will change how you see the world -- Peter Pomerantsev, author of 'This is Not Propaganda'
An excellent summary of how we got where we are, and how we can move forwards to build a better internet -- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
A crisp, highly informative introduction to what ails the information industry and what can be done about it. Ball's analysis is thorough and courageously even-handed -- Praise for 'Post-Truth' * The Times *
A vivid analysis of how the business models and incentives currently prevailing in digital media render decent discourse all but inaudible -- Kazuo Ishiguro, Praise for 'Post-Truth' * Guardian, Summer Reads *

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