BOOKS & OTHER WORKS

Book Cover March 2013

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

Whether or not readers are familiar with the concept of presentism—the theory that society is more focused on the immediacy of the moment in front of them (actually more specifically on the moment that just passed) than the moment before or, perhaps more importantly, the future—they’ve certainly felt the increasing pressure of keeping up with various methods of communication, be it texting, Web surfing, live interactions, or a litany of other media for staying “connected.” Using Alvin Toffler’s concept of “future shock” as a jumping-off point, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff (Cyberia; Get Back in the Box; Media Virus; etc.) deftly weaves in a number of disparate concepts (the Home Shopping Network, zombies, Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, Internet mashups, hipsters’ approximation of historical ephemera as irony, etc.) to examine the challenge of keeping up with technological advances as well as their ensuing impact on culture and human relations in a world that’s always “on.” By highlighting five areas (the rise of moronic reality TV; our need to be omnipresent; the need to compress time in order to achieve our goals; the compulsion to connect unrelated concepts in an effort to make better sense of them; and a gnawing sense of one’s obsolescence), Rushkoff gives readers a healthy dose of perspective, insight, and critical analysis that’s sure to get minds spinning and tongues wagging. 
(Source: Publishers Weekly starred review)
 


Book Cover Published 2010

Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

We continue to accept new technologies into our lives with little or no understanding of how these devices work and work on us. We do not know how to program our computers, nor do we care. We spend much more time and energy trying to figure out how to use them to program one another, instead. And this is a potentially grave mistake.
 
Just as the invention of text utterly transformed human society, disconnecting us from much of what we held sacred, our migration to the digital realm will also require a new template for maintaining our humanity. In Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, Rushkoff shares the biases of digital media, and what that means for how we should use them.
 


Book Cover February 2014

Generation Like: A Frontline Documentary

Douglas Rushkoff explores how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media — and how big brands are increasingly co-opting young consumers' digital presences. 
 


Book Cover Premiered 2010

Digital Nation

Digital Nation is a new, open source PBS project that explores what it means to be human in an entirely new world -- a digital world. It consists of a Web site as well as a major FRONTLINE documentary that broadcast on Feb. 2, 2010. 
 
 
(Source: PBS.org)


Book Cover Published 2005

Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out

With the world now flat, American enterprise, in particular, is at a crossroads. Having for too long replaced innovation with acquisitions, tactics, efficiencies, and ad campaigns, many businesses have dangerously lost touch with the process " and fun - of discovery. Here, Rushkoff offers all the help innovators of this era need to reconnect with their own core competencies as well as the passion fueling them. 


Book Cover Published 2009

Life Inc.: How Corporatism Conqured the World, and How We Can Take It Back

We have come to live in a world where the market has insinuated itself into every area of our lives. From erection to conception, school admission to finding a spouse, there are products and professionals to fill in where family and community have failed us. Human beings and corporations have traded places, and in the process, life itself has been reduced in its complexity, unpredictability, and intrinsic value.

Rushkoff chronicles how we got here, how this value system now perpetuates itself and, most importantly, offers alternatives to corporatism – the kinds of bottom-up, local, and human-scaled efforts that can allow us to reconnect with the real and get ourselves out of this mess. 


Book Cover

The Persuaders

PBS Frontline Documentary
 
A behind-the-scenes look at the influence industry, and how the techniques of marketing have migrated into politics to create the "citizen consumer."
 


Book Cover Published 2006

Screenagers: Lessons in Chaos From Digital Kids

Rushkoff's Screenagers: Lessons in Chaos from Digital Kids not only proposed that video games, Japanimation, and the web would become central to kids' culture - the book contended that these represented cutlural advances, and an evolution in our young people's ability to interpret increasingly complex media forms. Now that most of these predictions have come to pass, this new edition offers more context for teachers, parents, as well as the young people living through these changes and looking to justify their favorite activities to those who can't understand them.
(Source: Publisher)
 


Book Cover Published 2004

Club Zero-G

This mind-expanding graphic novel - in which a visual narrative is used to tell a story - delivers America's answer to Japan's manga (printed cartoons.) Club Zero-G offers an allegory for today's highly managed collective psyche, and a hint at the power available to anyone willing to step out of the story in which we are living.
(Source: Publisher)
 


Book Cover Published 2003

Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism

Rushkoff's new book, Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism, reveals a provocative new interpretation of religion and its role in our communication driven culture. Combining the lessons from original religious texts, the institutional practice of religion, open source communication and new media culture, Rushkoff challenges readers to open the codes of the great religions, before they become inaccessible forever.
 


Book Cover Published 2002

Exit Strategy

In this innovative, bitingly funny satire, Exit Strategy, Rushkoff exposes our consumer society as dangerously "hooked in." The novel takes the form of a document written in 2008, but only discovered two hundred years later by anthropologists who have "translated" the text for their contemporaries through a series of elaborate footnotes. The footnotes were written by readers of Rushkoff's original online version of Exit Strategy and included in this new print edition, resulting in the world's first ever "open source" novel.
 


Book Cover Published 2000

Coercion: Why Listen to What They Say

From media analyst Douglas Rushkoff comes this very enlightening look at the ways we are manipulated every day--not only by the media but also by our closest friends. According to Rushkoff's carefully documented thesis, we're constantly bombarded by appeals to our vanity, our desire to belong to a group, our need for approval. We're taken in by people who turn our own cynicism and distrust of manipulation into newer, much more subtle forms of persuasion.
 


Book Cover Published 1996

Media Virus! Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture

The most virulent viruses today are composed of information. In this information-driven age, the easiest way to manipulate the culture is through the media. Culture watcher Douglas Rushkoff offers a fascinating expose of media manipulation in today's age of instant information.
 


Book Cover Published 1998

Ecstacy Club

Gathering together in a dilapidated old warehouse to explore the ultimate frontier of cyberspace and the ultimate barrier of time, a group of disenfranchised young hackers and esoteric spiritualists try to create a plugged-in utopia, until they find themselves threatened by a motley array of mysterious enemies.
 


Book Cover Published 1994

The GenX Reader

The GenX Reader is a collection of our most revered voices demonstrating that while twentysomethings may, indeed, have dropped out of American culture (as it is traditionally defined), they also stand as a testament to American ingenuity, optimism, instinct and brilliance.
 


Book Cover

The Merchants of Cool

PBS Frontline Documentary
 
They are the merchants of cool: creators and sellers of popular culture who have made teenagers the hottest consumer demographic in America. But are they simply reflecting teen desires or have they begun to manufacture those desires in a bid to secure this lucrative market? And have they gone too far in their attempts to reach the hearts--and wallets--of America's youth? 
 
Frontline correspondent Douglas Rushkoff examines the tactics, techniques, and cultural ramifications of these marketing moguls in "The Merchants of Cool." Produced by Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin, the program talks with top marketers, media executives and cultural/media critics, and explores the symbiotic relationship between the media and today's teens, as each looks to the other for their identity.
(Source: pbs.org)