cover image Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

Gabrielle Coleman. Verso (Random, dist.), $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-78168-583-9

In this eye-opening ethnography, cultural anthropologist Coleman (Coding Freedom) constructs a fascinating picture of the many facets of the Internet collective known as Anonymous, from tricksters and trolls to social crusaders and information warriors. She pulls back the curtain to reveal feuding factions, evolving purposes, scatological humor, and a healthy dose of bizarre in-jokes. In particular, she looks at how they’ve taken on corporations, governments, even Scientology, and come out on top almost every time. Her writing style is as irreverent and occasionally as profane as her subjects, drawing the reader in with a casual amiability, as if sharing the wild stories of impossible and unreliable acquaintances. Interviews, chat logs, leaked documents, and personal recollections help construct one of the most accessible and most illuminating profiles possible of a group that, by its very creed, can’t easily be defined or categorized. This all-access pass into the dark and wild corners of the Internet is timely, informative, and also frightening. [em](Nov.) [/em]