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Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand

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Stewart Brand has long been famous if you know who he is, but for many people outside the counterculture, early computing, or the environmental movement, he is perhaps best known for his famous mantra "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." Steve Jobs's endorsement of these words as his code to live by is fitting; Brand has played many roles, but one of the most important is as a model for how to live.

A blond-haired WASP with a modest family inheritance, Brand went to Exeter and Stanford and was an army veteran, only to become an artist in the thick of the LSD revolution in the 1960s. His Whole Earth Catalog, the defining publication of the counterculture, records the inconsistencies of his life: he was committed to protecting indigenous culture but rejected politics for a focus on direct power. He embraced useful technologies, including nuclear power, in the fight against climate change. It's no wonder that he was early to the promise of a computer revolution.

In this fascinating look at Brand's life, tech culture writerJohn Markoff unspools the streams of individualism, respect for science, environmentalism, and Eastern and indigenous thought that flowed through Brand's life . What emerges is a California state of mind that has a hegemonic power to this day, and continues to influence the tech philosophy of the future.

416 pages. Hardcover.

About the Author
John Markoff was one of a team of New York Times reporters who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He has covered Silicon Valley since 1977, wrote the first account of the World Wide Web in 1993, and broke the story of Google's self-driving car in 2010. He is the author of five books, including What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry and Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots.

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