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The Shallows – What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains Paperback – 27 May 2011

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Review

A thought provoking exploration of the Internet’s physical and cultural consequences, rendering highly technical material intelligible to the general reader. — The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Committee

A must-read for any desk jockey concerned about the Web’s deleterious effects on the mind. — Newsweek

Starred Review. Carr provides a deep, enlightening examination of how the Internet influences the brain and its neural pathways. Carr’s analysis incorporates a wealth of neuroscience and other research, as well as philosophy, science, history and cultural developments ... His fantastic investigation of the effect of the Internet on our neurological selves concludes with a very humanistic petition for balancing our human and computer interactions ... Highly recommended. — Library Journal

This is a measured manifesto. Even as Carr bemoans his vanishing attention span, he’s careful to note the usefulness of the Internet, which provides us with access to a near infinitude of information. We might be consigned to the intellectual shallows, but these shallows are as wide as a vast ocean. — Jonah Lehrer (The New York Times Book Review)

This is a lovely story well told—an ode to a quieter, less frenetic time when reading was more than skimming and thought was more than mere recitation. — San Francisco Chronicle

The Shallows isn’t McLuhan’s Understanding Media, but the curiosity rather than trepidation with which Carr reports on the effects of online culture pulls him well into line with his predecessor . . . Carr’s ability to crosscut between cognitive studies involving monkeys and eerily prescient prefigurations of the modern computer opens a line of inquiry into the relationship between human and technology. — Ellen Wernecke, (The Onion A.V. Club)

The subtitle of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains leads one to expect a polemic in the tradition of those published in the 1950s about how rock ’n’ roll was corrupting the nation’s youth ... But this is no such book. It is a patient and rewarding popularization of some of the research being done at the frontiers of brain science ... Mild-mannered, never polemical, with nothing of the Luddite about him, Carr makes his points with a lot of apt citations and wide-ranging erudition. — Christopher Caldwell (Financial Times)

Nicholas Carr has written an important and timely book. See if you can stay off the web long enough to read it! — Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Neither a tub-thumpingly alarmist jeremiad nor a breathlessly Panglossian ode to the digital self, Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows is a deeply thoughtful, surprising exploration of our “frenzied” psyches in the age of the Internet. Whether you do it in pixels or pages, read this book. — Tom Vanderbilt, author, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

Nicholas Carr carefully examines the most important topic in contemporary culture—the mental and social transformation created by our new electronic environment. Without ever losing sight of the larger questions at stake, he calmly demolishes the clichés that have dominated discussions about the Internet. Witty, ambitious, and immensely readable, The Shallows actually manages to describe the weird, new, artificial world in which we now live. — Dana Gioia, poet and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

The core of education is this: developing the capacity to concentrate. The fruits of this capacity we call civilization. But all that is finished, perhaps. Welcome to the shallows, where the un-educating of homo sapiens begins. Nicholas Carr does a wonderful job synthesizing the recent cognitive research. In doing so, he gently refutes the ideologists of progress, and shows what is really at stake in the daily habits of our wired lives: the re-constitution of our minds. What emerges for the reader, inexorably, is the suspicion that we have well and truly screwed ourselves. — Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class As Soulcraft

Ultimately, The Shallows is a book about the preservation of the human capacity for contemplation and wisdom, in an epoch where both appear increasingly threatened. Nick Carr provides a thought-provoking and intellectually courageous account of how the medium of the Internet is changing the way we think now and how future generations will or will not think. Few works could be more important. — Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

About the Author

Nicholas Carr is the author of The Shallows, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and The Glass Cage, among other books. Former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, he has written for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Wired. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (27 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393339750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393339758
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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