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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Social Network’

4 November 2010
The Social Network 
directed by David Fincher.
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... and intelligent and mean, a sort of screwball comedy without the laughs. It’s written by Aaron Sorkin, whose credits include The West Wing and A Few Good Men, and based on a novelised history by BenMezrich, The Accidental Billionaires. As long as it stays with the details of its tale – the faces, the clothes, the dialogue, the rooms, the parties, the sleek restaurants – the movie seems both ...

Always On

Stephanie Burt: Facebook

10 June 2010
The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook 
by Ben Mezrich.
Heinemann, 260 pp., £11.99, July 2009, 978 0 434 01955 7
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The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future 
by Craig Watkins.
Beacon, 249 pp., £17.50, October 2009, 978 0 8070 6193 0
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Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America 
by Julia Angwin.
Random House, 371 pp., £17.50, March 2009, 978 1 4000 6694 0
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The Tyranny of Email: The Four Thousand Year Journey to your Inbox 
by John Freeman.
Scribner, 244 pp., £17.99, October 2009, 978 1 4165 7673 0
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The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbours 
by Hal Niedzviecki.
City Lights, 256 pp., £12, May 2009, 978 0 87286 499 3
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... the effects of geographic distance; promote bitesize units of image and text; spread up to the minute news; suck away hours; and change how we see ourselves as social beings. If we are to believe BenMezrich, none of the people who developed Facebook expected to bring those changes about: they wanted and thought about nothing but money and sex. Mezrich’s book is full of scene-setting and ...

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