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

I’ve just started to read Gabriella Coleman’s epic book on Anonymous, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy. It’s early in the read for me, so there isn’t a whole lot I can say about it yet. But right out of the gates, it’s been an interesting read. My first attempt to take a peek was at a quiet, little pub and I couldn’t get a page in because everyone that saw the cover wanted to ask about the book! It is a beautiful cover, and I know they say you can’t judge a book by one, but I think this image does a great job of shedding some light on what the reader will encounter: It’s intriguing, it draws you in, and it presents multiple perspectives of a tricky topic. Coleman gives a hair-raising account of the feelings she encountered not just as a scholar, but as a human. As a junior scholar, it is refreshing to get a view of the considerations scholars make especially in regards to personal safety, legality, and confidentiality. Coleman details these processes and more by revealing her thoughts and concerns at each stage. You get a real sense of the excitement and fears she encountered as she engaged in her research. In this way, readers get to understand the decisions Coleman made in her research and why. For this alone, I have found the read valuable. As I get further in, I will revisit this book and look more at the specific work she’s done. But if you’re looking for an immediate recommendation, I would say this book is definitely worth picking up.

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