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Writers Bloc Presents Andrew Marantz


Political extremism has gone mainstream. How does political extremism on social media progress from internet surfers, to campaigns, to elections, to the oval office? Do social media juggernauts like Facebook, Reddit, and others, have a responsibility to police or monitor their users who post extremist views? What is the impact of these sites and what is their influence on our society, our young people, and our voters? Andrew Marantz, a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, examines these issues in his critically important new book, Antisocial. Marantz investigates conspiracists, white supremacists, and once- fringe political players and traces their ascendance through their use of social media to drive their agenda all the way to the White House.  

In conversation with Sewell Chan, Deputy Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times. Chan has held reporting and editorial positions at both the New York Times and at the Washington Post. He was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team of reporters who covered former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer and his subsequent resignation.

Tickets available here.



Event Date: 
Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 7:30pm
Temple Emanuel,
300 North Clark Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525522263
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - October 8th, 2019

From a rising star at The New Yorker, a deeply immersive chronicle of how the optimistic entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley set out to create a free and democratic internet--and how the cynical propagandists of the alt-right exploited that freedom to propel the extreme into the mainstream.

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. Combining the keen narrative detail of Bill Buford's Among the Thugs and the sweep of George Packer's The Unwinding, 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?