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Burn Book

A Tech Love Story

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About The Book

Instant New York Times Bestseller

From award-winning journalist Kara Swisher comes a witty, scathing, but fair accounting of the tech industry and its founders who wanted to change the world but broke it instead.

“Swisher, the bad-ass journalist and OG chronicler of Silicon Valley…takes no prisoners in this highly readable look at the evolution of the digital world…Bawdy, brash, and compulsively thought-provoking, just like its author, Burn Book sizzles” (Booklist, starred review).

Part memoir, part history, Burn Book is a necessary chronicle of tech’s most powerful players. From “the queen of all media” (Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal), this is the inside story we’ve all been waiting for about modern Silicon Valley and the biggest boom in wealth creation in the history of the world.

When tech titans crowed that they would “move fast and break things,” Kara Swisher was moving faster and breaking news. While covering the explosion of the digital sector in the early 1990s, she developed a long track record of digging up and reporting the facts about this new world order. Her consistent scoops drove one CEO to accuse her of “listening in the heating ducts” and prompted Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to once observe: “It is a constant joke in the Valley when people write memos for them to say, ‘I hope Kara never sees this.’”

While still in college, Swisher got her start at The Washington Post, where she became one of the few people in journalism interested in covering the nascent Internet. She went on to work for The Wall Street Journal, joining with Walt Mossberg to start the groundbreaking D: All Things Digital conference, as well as pioneering tech news sites.

Swisher has interviewed everyone who matters in tech over three decades, right when they presided over an explosion of world-changing innovation that has both helped and hurt our world. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Bob Iger, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Meg Whitman, Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, and Mark Zuckerberg are just a few whom Swisher made sweat—figuratively and, in Zuckerberg’s case, literally.

Despite the damage she chronicles, Swisher remains optimistic about tech’s potential to help solve problems and not just create them. She calls upon the industry to make better, more thoughtful choices, even as a new set of powerful AI tools are poised to change the world yet again. At its heart, this book is a love story to, for, and about tech from someone who knows it better than anyone.

About The Author

Photograph © Philip Montgomery / New York Magazine

Kara Swisher is the host of the podcast On with Kara Swisher and the cohost of the Pivot podcast with Scott Galloway, both distributed by New York magazine. She was also the cofounder and editor-at-large of Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast, and coexecutive producer of the Code conference. She was a former contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and host of its Sway podcast and has also worked for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Burn Book is her third book.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 27, 2024)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982163891

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Raves and Reviews

“Kara Swisher has always lit fires in her work. The provocateur has chronicled the egos and excesses of Silicon Valley for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and now New York, making a habit of scorching its denizens…. Swisher was smart enough to consider tech a worthwhile beat early on. She helped popularize podcasting and showed Big Media that live events were a path to growth…. In Burn Book, which is just what it sounds like only more so, Swisher once again cuts those grotesquely wealthy, code-smart chuckleheads down to size… To be a woman in a bro’s world is impressive. To be a queer person who cut her own path and created a powerful role for herself in that world? Next-level.”
Real Simple’s “The Brightest: People, Products, and Ideas That Are Changing the Game in 2024”

“Kara Swisher has always lit fires in her work. The provocateur has chronicled the egos and excesses of Silicon Valley for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and now New York, making a habit of scorching its denizens…. Swisher was smart enough to consider tech a worthwhile beat early on. She helped popularize podcasting and showed Big Media that live events were a path to growth…. In Burn Book, which is just what it sounds like only more so, Swisher once again cuts those grotesquely wealthy, code-smart chuckleheads down to size… To be a woman in a bro’s world is impressive. To be a queer person who cut her own path and created a powerful role for herself in that world? Next-level.”
Real Simple’s “The Brightest: People, Products, and Ideas That Are Changing the Game in 2024”

"Swisher, the bad-ass journalist and OG chronicler of Silicon Valley and its denizens (almost all of them male because, well, tech world), takes no prisoners in this highly readable look at the evolution of the digital world. . . Bawdy, brash, and compulsively thought-provoking, just like its author, Burn Book sizzles."
BOOKLIST (Starred Review)

“The most recognizable chronicler of the digital revolution.”
WASHINGTON POST

“Nobody straddles the world of tech and media quite like Kara Swisher… This book isn’t just a juicy read, it’s also a valuable historical document, giving readers an inside look at the architects of some of the biggest tech moments of the last thirty years.”
Charlotte Alter, TIME

“An exposé that also seeks to avert technological calamity on the perilous road still ahead.”
—ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Funny, smart, chic-y, and insightful.”
—Katie Couric

Burn Book shows how understanding these leaders' pasts can illuminate their current motivations and aspirations.”
AXIOS

“The queen of all media.”
Walt Mossberg, former WALL STREET JOURNAL columnist

“Swisher has been the most entrepreneurial of reporters, both in the doggedness of her work and the ever-evolving array of venues where it’s manifested itself.”
FAST COMPANY

“The book is also deeply personal and frankly, very moving.”
—Samantha Bee

“Unlike the mythological Cassandra whose prophecies were ignored, both the ‘children’ and adults will pay heed to [Kara Swisher’s] warnings.”
THE DAILY BEAST

“As existential questions confront both the tech and media industries... Swisher takes no prisoners, offering readers a behind-the-curtain peek at the industry’s most powerful and ego-obsessed titans.”
RELIABLE SOURCES

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  • Author Photo (jpg): Kara Swisher
    Photograph © Philip Montgomery / New York Magazine
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