NET.WARS is a non-fiction book by journalist
Wendy M. Grossman about
conflict and controversy among stakeholders on the
The book received a positive reception, and was described by Technology Review as "one of the first comprehensive reports on the upheavals underway in cyberspace ." Publishers Weekly praised the depth of discussion in the book, and Library Journal commented positively on the history and background imparted. New Scientist gave the book a favorable review, commenting, "Here at last is a sensible, thought-provoking and informative book about the complexity and challenges of the Net." Reason magazine observed, "Grossman has written an intriguing account of the Internet's partial fulfillment of its seemingly limitless promise."
* 1 Publication history * 2 Contents * 3 Reception * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links
Wendy M. Grossman (1997)
Prior to the book's publication, the author was recognized in 1996 with an award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for an article in Wired magazine about conflict on the Internet. Net.wars was published in book format by NYU Press in 1997, in addition to an edition in a computer file format. NYU Press made the text of the book available for free via its website.
The book discusses the changes online citizens saw take place on the
Grossman informs the reader that she appreciates "the fact that in this age of polite political correctness there is a place in the world where people feel free to speak their minds, even offensively". She gives an analogy for the reader regarding those who would discuss and comment on the phenomenon of the Internet-based community without prior experience: "Journalists who don't use the Net themselves routinely make such egregious technological and cultural errors that you can only compare the results to what would happen if they were assigned to write about the interstate highway system based on their experiences at sea.... f the police told you that prostitutes routinely and openly solicited truckers and other visitors to roadside rest areas and that therefore they were risky places for families to visit, you would probably believe them and write the story.... At the same time, after a while it's easy to lose perspective and forget that behavior which is common and tolerated on the Net seems shocking to newcomers."
The author states her desire for the
Writing for the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Wade Roush called the book, "one of the first comprehensive reports on the upheavals underway in cyberspace." Roush commented on the author's writing style, "Grossman writes plainly yet entertainingly, providing a pleasant antidote to the breathless rhetoric one finds in many books and magazines devoted to computer culture." The review concluded, "But what ties the book together is Grossman's demonstration that the boundary disputes have more to do with power than with decency or etiquette. The Net gives all its users a vastly increased power to communicate. How much of this power, she asks, will average users be allowed to keep?"
Donna Seaman of
Publishers Weekly reviewed the book and recommended it for multiple
types of readers, "Both newbies (newcomers to the Internet) and
Netizens (old-timers) will find challenges and rewards in this witty,
knowledgeable and timely report from the electronic front."
Publishers Weekly wrote positively of the amount of detail included in
the book's discussion, "
Journalist Grossman covers in considerable
depth the battles now raging over the First Amendment rights,
security, privacy and general standards of conduct in cyberspace."
Library Journal wrote of the success of the author's argumentation,
"Grossman sets out to answer questions about the future of the
Harold Thimbleby of
New Scientist gave the book a positive review,
writing, "Here at last is a sensible, thought-provoking and
informative book about the complexity and challenges of the Net." He
compared Grossman's writing to other works on the subject matter,
"Most books are too enthusiastic about the technology, too American,
too Utopian, too get-rich-quick—or just out of date. In
In a review for Reason , Nick Gillespie described the book as, "a nuanced map to the latest 'place' to inspire grand utopian thinking: the Internet, that ethereal and increasingly important worldwide network of computer networks." Gillespie wrote positively of the author's breadth of knowledge and experience about the subject matter, "An American journalist living in London, Grossman brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to the material—and a clarity of style and analysis that is a welcome relief from both the hyperbolic prose of many Net boosters and the overwrought jeremiads of cyberphobes." His review concluded, "the great virtue of net.wars is its recognition that cyberspace's utopian potential—its ability to enrich existing real communities while creating new, virtual ones—is directly tied to its ability to change, grow, and make itself useful to its inhabitants. In showing how that process works in both historical and cultural terms, Grossman has written an intriguing account of the Internet's partial fulfillment of its seemingly limitless promise."
The Village Voice pointed out the decision of publisher
NYU Press to
publish the book's contents online, noting, "Risking profits for the
sake of progress,
NYU Press has decided to publish journalist Wendy
Grossman's canny new book, net.wars, simultaneously in print and in a
free online version ... For NYU, it's a big gamble for publicity."
The review observed that the nature of the book's format was
appropriate for online distribution, "the online design of net.wars
points to an even more dramatic literary evolution. Net.wars, with
over 500 hypertext links, is truly more Web site than book, and it
unquestionably belongs online." In its review of her book, Kirkus
Reviews pointed out a paradox regarding one of Grossman's proposed
solutions to issues of encroachment upon
* Human rights portal
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J Roush, Wade (May 1998). "Net.wars".
Cambridge, Massachusetts : Massachusetts Institute
of Technology . 101 (3): 80. ISSN 1096-3715 .
* ^ A B C D "Net.wars".
Publishers Weekly . December 1997.
* ^ A B C D Accardi, Joe (December 1997). "Net.wars". Library
Journal . United States. 122: 134. ISSN 0363-0277 . Retrieved
* ^ A B C D E F Thimbleby, Harold (January 17, 1998). "Net.wars".
New Scientist . Great Britain. 157 (2117): 43. ISSN 0262-4079 .
* ^ A B C D E F G H I Gillespie, Nick (June 1998). "Net.wars".
Reason . United States. 30 (2): 67–69. ISSN 0048-6906 .
* ^ LCCN 97-21214
* ^ "
* Leonard, Andrew (December 29, 1997). "Net.wars". The Nation . United States. 265: 30. ISSN 0027-8378 .
* Cram, Ian (2006). Contested Words: Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Speech in Liberal Democracies. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-2365-3 . * Curtis, Michael Kent (2000). Free Speech, "The People’s Darling Privilege": Struggles for Freedom of Expression in American History .