The Cult of the Amateur

  • by Andrew Keen
  • Narrated by Andrew Keen
  • 6 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a hard-hitting and provocative polemic, Silicon Valley insider and pundit Andrew Keen exposes the grave consequences of today's new participatory Web 2.0 and reveals how it threatens our values, economy, and ultimately the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement. Our most valued cultural institutions, Keen warns, our professional newspapers, magazines, music, and movies, are being overtaken by an avalanche of amateur, user-generated free content. Advertising revenue is being siphoned off by free classified ads on sites like Craigslist; television networks are under attack from free user-generated programming on YouTube and the like; file-sharing and digital piracy have devastated the multibillion-dollar music business and threaten to undermine our movie industry. Worse, Keen claims, our "cut-and-paste" online culture, in which intellectual property is freely swapped, downloaded, remashed, and aggregated, threatens over 200 years of copyright protection and intellectual property rights, robbing artists, authors, journalists, musicians, editors, and producers of the fruits of their creative labors. The very anonymity that the Web 2.0 offers calls into question the reliability of the information we receive and creates an environment in which sexual predators and identity thieves can roam free. While no Luddite - Keen pioneered several Internet startups himself - he urges us to consider the consequences of blindly supporting a culture that endorses plagiarism and piracy and that fundamentally weakens traditional media and creative institutions.


What the Critics Say

"Andrew Keen is a brilliant, witty, classically-educated technoscold, and thank goodness. The world needs an intellectual Goliath to slay Web 2.0's army of Davids." (The Weekly Standard)
"Mr. Keen...writes with acuity and passion about the consequences of a world in which the lines between fact and opinion, informed expertise and amateurish speculation are willfully blurred." (The New York Times)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

an amateur opinion

I wish I could have gotten into this book. I tried, I really tried. The author/narrator put me off with what struck me as a snobbish and misanthropic viewpoint. But what do I know? I'm just an amateur.
Read full review

- Shelly M. Felton "shellian731"

Totally unbalanced and unprofessional

The author of this book offers only one side of the issue, avoiding discussion of any virtue offered by the technologies, while pointing out what the author feels are faults in websites like YouTube and (in the most degrading of terms) those that use them.

Nothing could soften referring to the general public as "monkeys" whose narcissistic nature is, "Threating the very foundations of our culture.", but the way it is said gives impression that the work is meant to insult rather then inform. Any doubt of this is removed by the scathing tone the author uses in addressing the listener when reading his own work. It is unprofessional and unfit for any book attempting to educate its readers.
Read full review

- NAR206

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-05-2007
  • Publisher: Audible Studios