Andrew Marantz: Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

Thursday October 24: 7:30PM 8:30PM

Event Admission          Signed Copy, No Admission

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

In the Rare Book Room, author Marantz will discuss his new book, Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.

For several years, Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, has been embedded in two worlds. The first is the world of social-media entrepreneurs, who, acting out of naïvete and reckless ambition, upended all traditional means of receiving and transmitting information. The second is the world of the people he calls "the gate crashers"--the conspiracists, white supremacists, and nihilist trolls who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. Antisocial ranges broadly--from the first mass-printed books to the trending hashtags of the present; from secret gatherings of neo-Fascists to the White House press briefing room--and traces how the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then how it becomes reality. 

Antisocial reveals how the boundaries between technology, media, and politics have been erased, resulting in a deeply broken informational landscape--the landscape in which we all now live. Marantz shows how alienated young people are led down the rabbit hole of online radicalization, and how fringe ideas spread--from anonymous corners of social media to cable TV to the President's Twitter feed. Marantz also sits with the creators of social media as they start to reckon with the forces they've unleashed. Will they be able to solve the communication crisis they helped bring about, or are their interventions too little too late?

Andrew Marantz is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he has worked since 2011. His work has also appeared in Harper's, New York, Mother Jones, the New York Times, and many other publications. A contributor to Radiolab and The New Yorker Radio Hour, he has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many other outlets.

Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer and co-theatre critic for The New Yorker. His essays, reviews, and profiles have also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book ReviewFADERVultureThe Awl, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. A former White House staffer, he now teaches an MFA Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City. 

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