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“The truly frightening message in this book is that the promise of the internet to expand the pie and enable more people to significantly improve their lives has not yet been fulfilled. Rather, at its worst the internet is just one more tool you have to use in order to avoid being left behind and made redundant. While some start-ups have rushed ahead, and coders have received the respect that they probably deserved, fundamental power dynamics have not changed. The Big Disconnect is a sobering critique of activism and change in the digital age, and reminds us that having unbridled faith in technology to resolve our greatest challenges is dangerous indeed.”

This week: 20% our Internet titles by authors like Julian Assange, Micah Sifry, Doug Rushkoff, & more.
VICE reviews The United States vs. Private Chelsea Manning

VICE reviews The United States vs. Private Chelsea Manning

TONIGHT!
“In the 1970s, at Esquire, Lish was “Captain Fiction.” He then spent almost two decades at Knopf, publishing the likes of Don DeLillo, Cynthia Ozick and Barry Hannah. With his risen cheekbones, flowing hair and linear mouth, Lish resembled one of the patrician squires he encountered at Andover, not a Jewish milliner’s son from Long Island. He drank with the best of them and, when drunk, said things that were often cruel and sometimes true.”Gordon Lish, author of Collected Fictions and Goings, is profiled in Newsweek.
Office still life: TWEETS FROM TAHRIR with smartphones 

Why my book isn’t available on Amazon (yet)

Dear friend:

Last week, my new book came out. It’s called The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet). I hope you’ll check it out.

But that’s not why I’m writing you. A number of folks have been asking me why The Big Disconnect isn’t available on Amazon (yet). Here’s why:

I want to support independent publishing, which isn’t an easy thing to do in the Age of Amazon. My publisher, OR Books, is a small but successful five-year-old press that works closely with each of its authors. Since it isn’t publishing hundreds of books a year, it can give each book real attention. An OR book is like an artisanal tomato from a nearby farm, rather than a homogenized product from a giant agribusiness.

OR Books is also working hard to support and sustain a community of engaged readers. So each time OR publishes a new book, it starts by only selling it from its website, direct to you the reader. That way, when you buy a book from them, they can get to know you. (Amazon keeps all of that kind of customer data to itself, by contrast.)

So, right now, my new book is only available online from OR Books. I get that Amazon is really convenient, but it’s just as easy to get books directly from OR. (They also sell DRM-free e-book versions that will happily work with your Kindle, iPad, Nook or Sony reader.) Eventually, we’ll put The Big Disconnect up on Amazon. But not just yet.

All best,

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Micah Sifry

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The Big Disconnect, available now on www.orbooks.com

INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) by Eileen Myles on the Staff Picks shelf at McNally Jackson.

INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) by Eileen Myles on the Staff Picks shelf at McNally Jackson.

The Fog Machine of War

Chelsea Manning breaks her silence in the New York Times to write about media freedom and how the collusion between the military and embedded reporters leads to inaccurate information and an uninformed democracy.

On Thursday, June 19 in New York, join OR Books and Chelsea Manning’s supporters to mark one year since she went on trial for leaking the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs to WikiLeaks. At TheaterLab (357 W 36th St, 3rd Floor, NYC) journalists, activists and artists who attended the trial will read from a new graphic book published this month, The United States vs Private Chelsea Manning: A Graphic Account From Inside the Courtroom:Readings by:Chase MadarClark StoeckleyMelissa Gira GrantMax ThornAdam Klasfeld+ moreWine will be served, and we will be collecting donations for Chelsea Manning’s appeal fund.Doors open at 7pmReadings begin promptly at 7.30pmCo-sponsored byThe Chelsea Manning Support NetworkThe World Can’t Wait RSVP to events@orbooks.com