Manufacturing Consent (1988) takes a critical view of the mass media to ask why only a narrow range of opinions are favored whilst others are suppressed or ignored.
It formulates a propaganda model which shows how alternative and independent information is filtered out by various financial and political factors allowing the news agenda to be dominated by those working on behalf of the wealthy and powerful. Far from being a free press, the media in fact maintain our unequal and unfair society.
Trust Me, I’m Lying (2012) is an in-depth exposé of today’s news culture, which is primarily channeled through online media sites called blogs. By detailing his experiences with multimillion-dollar public relations campaigns, the author takes us behind the scenes of today’s most popular and influential blogs to paint an unsettling picture of why we shouldn’t believe everything that is labeled as news.
The Long Tail challenges existing notions of the market and the entertainment industry by looking at the massive influence of the internet on the economy. Due to new modes of content creation and distribution, it can be more profitable to offer a large number and wide variety of products that appeal to niche consumer groups rather than one certain “hit,” e.g., a blockbuster or bestselling book.
We often swallow scientific-sounding language used in advertisements or on the news without any further thought. But if we analyze it a little, we often find that it’s merely pseudoscience. Bad Science shows us that this bogus science can lead to serious misunderstandings, injustice and even death.
This book is about our serious addiction to consumption: affluenza. Since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve become addicted to shopping, believing we can buy happiness. Affluenza affects us and our society like a disease, and this book offers advice on how we can immunize ourselves against it.
Spam Nation reveals how a handful of spammers and other cybercriminals have created a hugely profitable, yet largely illegal, industry. Concerns over spam, however, go deeper than the annoyance of a few email scams, as individuals, companies, governments – even societies – are put at risk.
Future Crimes (2015) lucidly explores the dangers inherent in using today’s highly interconnected web of technologies. Through carelessness or ignorance, we make huge amounts of personal information available to criminals who would love nothing more than to exploit us.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (2015) looks into the terrifying nature of online public shaming. Tracing it back to its historical roots, the book details the motivations behind modern public shaming and offers tips on what to do if you find yourself at the center of a public shaming scandal.
Content Rules (2012) is a guide to content publishing that’ll help you implement effective and sustainable strategies. Regardless of whether you’re a social-media novice or a web-savvy pro, these blinks will guide you through the ins and outs of web-based content tools and social media sites, while offering plenty of helpful content tips along the way.
Righteous Indignation (2012) outlines the influence of the political Left in the United States and how this group’s influence has destroyed American media. The book shows exactly how this situation came to be and explains what those on the Right can do to fight back.
How Music Got Free (2015) tells the remarkable story of the mp3 file, from its inception in a German audio lab to its discovery by a man working in a North Carolina CD-pressing plant, who would eventually team up with a piracy group to bring the entire music industry to its knees.
Merchants of Doubt (2011) examines some of the world’s major scientific debates on topics including the environment, smoking and nuclear weapons. These blinks will explain how a handful of extremely vocal scientists have heavily misrepresented these issues through the mainstream media, often with the goal of aiding corporate and industry interests.
Bit Literacy (2007) is the go-to guide for people who want to make better use of their time in a world permeated by unnecessary information. By employing the book’s organizational and time-saving tricks, you’ll be well on your way to becoming bit-literate.
Newsjacking (2012) is about the best new way to get media attention – not by planning ahead but by reacting quickly and cleverly. These blinks not only explain how this new form of generating news works, but also how you can and should react to it, and how to use it to attain the best possible media coverage.
Curate This! (2014) reveals the different ways content curation is used today, why humans make the best curators and how you can use content to expand your audience.
The Smarter Screen (2015) is a guide both for the start-up and established business to boosting your company’s digital presence in a media-saturated world. These blinks apply insights from behavioral economics to explain exactly how people think and respond to digital information on a screen.
The Big Disconnect (2013) is about the current generation of babies, toddlers and children growing up in the digital world. Digital media, from online games to social networking sites, have a profound impact on a child’s development, both intellectually and socially. These blinks outline the reasons why, and what parents can do to try to keep their children safe from these developmental hindrances.
This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (2015) explores the subculture of trolling: where it came from, who does it, why they do it and what exactly it is they do. The book examines the blurred line between a malicious online attack and revealing social commentary, and shows how trolling and mainstream culture have come to form a close bond.
If you’ve ever entertained romantic fantasies about becoming a globe-trotting journalist, let Flat Earth News (2008) serve as a wake-up call. Truth is, modern journalists are under extreme pressure from the media outlets they serve, which are mostly controlled by profit-minded corporations. These blinks reveal why news desks simply regurgitate stories and why it’s so easy these days for spin doctors to manipulate the news.
The News (2014) reads between the lines of the constant stream of today’s news – news to which many readers are becoming increasingly indifferent. This indifference isn’t so much the reader’s fault as the media’s. Constant competition in a crowded market results in news outlets failing to package stories in a way that’s appealing, engaging and, most of all, informative.
The World According to Star Wars (2016) reveals the many life lessons to be learned from George Lucas’s Star Wars films. Discover what popular science fiction can tell us about ourselves, what Star Wars has to say about the politics of popularity and how we interpret movies and inject our favorite stories with our own ideas.
A Very English Scandal (2016) tells the story of former British politician Jeremy Thorpe’s affair with Norman Scott. From a botched assassination to a biased murder trial, the story of this scandal shines a harsh light on the petty yet powerful relationships within the British Establishment and how those ties work to silence justice and protect reputations.
The Filter Bubble (2011) offers an insightful and critical look at the internet. Specifically, it puts under the microscope the dangerous consequences of data collection and the way it is used to personalize the internet. Discover just how many things are being hidden from you every time you click the search button, and why you shouldn’t always take internet search results at face value.
You Can’t Read This Book (2012) asks a pointed question: Does free speech exist or not? Today society has unlimited access to information online, but people still struggle to freely express opinions, fearing a backlash from governments, religious leaders or other powerful organizations.
Weaponized Lies (2016) is a user’s manual for today’s news media. It teaches you various skills that will help you to analyze the vast amount of information you encounter when skimming the internet or watching the news. Take time to learn what’s real and what’s fake, so you won’t get duped.
Age of Propaganda (2001) is an in-depth look into the world of deception that is propaganda. These blinks will walk you through the different techniques propagandists rely on to successfully change people’s opinions and show how these tactics have become part of your everyday life.
The War on Journalism (2015) explores the challenges journalists face while seeking the truth amid increasing state control and private sector criticism. Even though the internet has allowed those in the media unprecedented access to people and information, equally technology and new rules of the game have made fact-seeking a far more problematic pursuit.
The New Front Page (2013) explains how the advent of the internet radically changed the media landscape. Today, audiences are no longer a mere target for advertisers; they’re empowered customers and, more often than not, even a part of the editorial process itself.
The Death of Expertise (2017) examines the current attacks on science and knowledge that seem to be on the rise in our current technological and political environment. What has happened to objective truths being the truth and facts being indisputable? Why is science now a matter of political partisanship? Find out what’s really going on and why this is one of the most important issues of our day.
Better Living Through Criticism (2016) explores the role of the critic. From the historical significance of criticism to the future of the digital critic, these blinks are an engaging introduction into an indispensable aspect of art and culture.
Streaming, Sharing, Stealing (2016) is about the ever-changing entertainment industry. Recent years have seen the emergence of new players who continue to utilize technology to transform the landscape. This book assesses how companies like Apple, Netflix and Amazon use data to understand their consumers’ needs.
Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) explores the detrimental effects the medium of television is having on the content of public discourse. Over the course of two centuries, the United States has moved from being a culture defined by the printed word to one where television and triviality dominate.
The Death of Truth (2018) offers an informative look at the current political climate in the United States, and the many developments in the past that have brought us to this divisive time. With over 30 years’ experience as a respected literary critic, Michiko Kakutani uses her expertise in modern literature to show how authors of the past worried about many of the same concerns we’re facing today.
Ten Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts Right Now (2018) is a modern-day cri de coeur. It offers, with ten distinct arguments, an all but irrefutable case for deleting your social media accounts. From their ethically dubious data-selling practices to the way they manipulate users, current social media companies are doing society a major disservice. Your best option right now is to delete your accounts until better options emerge.
Liars, Leakers, and Liberals (2018) examines the dark forces that have not accepted Donald Trump’s victory. From the dishonest media to Hollywood hypocrites, weak-willed republicans to the “deep state” of the intelligence community, these forces are now attempting to destroy America’s president – a patriotic, family-oriented winner whose no-nonsense approach is exactly what the United States needs.
Conspiracy (2017) reveals the incredible true story behind the downfall of one of America’s most controversial media outlets. The author explores the motivations and machinations of billionaire Peter Thiel, who conspired against Gawker Media, and details the dramatic courtroom trial that saw wrestler Hulk Hogan win millions in damages against the world’s most notorious gossip website.
Them (2018) explores the social, political and economic challenges facing the United States of America. Drawing on insights from psychology, politics and contemporary media, the blinks investigate the current climate of hostility in public life and explains how Americans can get back to a more harmonious way of life.
Yes We (Still) Can (2018) offers a revealing look at the dizzyingly high-pressure life of a White House communications director. In addition to his personal experiences in the Obama administration, author Dan Pfeiffer is eager to share the knowledge he gained along the way, from how to deal with the press to how to handle political opposition.
The Four (2017) examines the great superpowers of our digital age – Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google – and attempts to answer a few tough questions: How have these companies changed the world we live in and what is their formula for success? How can other companies rise to similar echelons of power? And what does it take to thrive in a world shaped by the Four?
On October 5, 2017, the New York Times ran an exposé detailing years of sexual misconduct by famed film producer Harvey Weinstein. She Said (2019) tells the story behind the story, tracing how two investigative journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, uncovered one of the biggest news events of the decade and helped galvanize the #MeToo moment. Told by the journalists themselves, this book recounts how tenacious reporting can transform decades of abuse into a worldwide movement.
Catch and Kill (2019) is the gripping inside account of how the abuses of Hollywood’s most notorious predator, Harvey Weinstein, were brought to light. Along the way, veteran investigative reporter Ronan Farrow unpicks the conspiracy of silence that attempted to prevent his findings from ever being published and help Weinstein evade accountability for his history of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
The Art of Statistics (2019) is a non-technical introduction to the basic concepts of statistical science. Sidelining abstract mathematical analyses in favor of a more human-oriented approach, it explains how statistical science is helping us to answer questions and tell more informative stories. Stepping beyond the numbers, it also considers the role that the media and psychological bias play in the distortion of statistical claims. In these blinks you’ll find the tools and knowledge needed to understand and evaluate these claims.
The Rules of Contagion (2020) takes a scientific and mathematical look at how viruses spread, and how ideas, behavior and popular online content all follow similar patterns. By following the rules of contagion, we can gain insight into the spread of ideas, what causes financial disasters, and how harmful acts like gun violence can also infect a community.
Truth (2018) shows us how we live in a world of competing truths, where politicians, activists, corporations and countries tell the stories they’d like us to hear. Identifying the different ways that truth can be used to mislead or inspire, Hector MacDonald draws from history and current affairs to demonstrate how we should wait to see the whole picture before deciding what is “true.”
Trick Mirror (2019) is the long-awaited first collection of writer and essayist Jia Tolentino. In nine intertwined stories, she tells of the trends and ideas – as well as the personal and collective delusions – that have shaped her life, our country, and the culture. Examining everything from the internet to workout crazes to modern marriage, Tolentino interweaves the personal and political, calling to mind great feminist writers like Susan Sontag and Joan Didion.
Deepfakes and the Infocalypse (2020) is an urgent warning about the dangers posed by fake – but extremely realistic – audiovisual material called deepfakes. They are powered by artificial intelligence, and scammers and hackers are already using them to defraud businesses and harass individuals. Governments are joining in, as well; the use of deepfakes for propaganda is growing. We need to actively prepare for a time when deepfakes become commonplace. If we don’t, we’ll barrel headfirst into an information apocalypse.
The Reality Game (2020) sheds light on the murky world of “computational propaganda” – political manipulation using digital tools. Samuel Woolley argues that fake news, viral conspiracy theories, and Twitter bot armies don’t just sow confusion and discord; in his view, they also subvert the democratic process. That means it’s high time we fought back and reclaimed our digital space from today’s unaccountable mega-platforms.
Speaking for Myself (2020) is an insider’s account of Donald Trump’s first two years in office by the woman whose job it was to present the president’s thinking to the world – press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Alongside fascinating snapshots of Trump’s decision-making process, values, and sense of humor, Sanders offers readers a glimpse of the inner workings of the White House and the role of the press in American political life.
Google Leaks (2021) is the no-holds-barred story of one former Google employee, who claims that the search giant has been corrupted by political bias and is pursuing a course of deliberate online censorship. It details the author’s journey after Donald Trump’s election from satisfied employee to unflinching corporate whistleblower .
Disability Visibility (2020) is a compilation of original essays by people with disabilities. There are too few stories about what it’s like to be a disabled person navigating environments designed for the nondisabled. This collection brings visibility to some of these diverse experiences, and shows how limiting our ideas about disability really are.
Perversion of Justice (2021) reveals how a reporter for the Miami Herald broke the story behind Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes and the scandalous deal he got from the US justice system in 2008. It explains the history of the case, how the mysterious financier was able to escape justice for so long, and the important questions that remain unanswered.
The Quick Fix (2021) is a skeptical study of recent trends in behavioral psychology. Academic studies and TED talks may appear to make a convincing case for the power of positive thinking or the impact of implicit bias, but sometimes the evidence just isn’t there. In a complex world, the explanations for human behavior are often more nuanced than some modern psychologists would have you believe.
Free Speech (2022) traces the history of this world-defining idea. It provides a soapbox for some of free speech’s greatest proponents and highlights key events that pushed the idea forward from ancient times to the present. Offering an evenhanded treatment of the costs and benefits of free speech throughout history, it’s a powerful retort to all those forces that threaten to erode free speech today.
Dear America (2021) is a call to action for Americans. It implores them to unite despite differences – and preserve their nation before it’s too late.
Pegasus (2023) follows the thrilling, worldwide investigation into one of the most powerful and insidious pieces of cyber surveillance software known to date. Beginning with a massive data leak to a small, independent news outlet, it tells the story of how Pegasus came to be, the hundreds of innocent individuals who have had their privacy taken away by it, and the global team of reporters and editors who risked everything to bring the story to light.
The Office BFFs (2022) peels back the curtain on the close-knit friendship of Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer from the American hit TV series The Office. It comes complete, not only with their candid time together on and off camera but also with never-before-seen photos featuring the cast and crew of the show.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (2022) by Gabrielle Zevin tells the story of Sadie and Sam, childhood friends turned creative collaborators and video game designers. The novel charts the tumultuous highs and lows of Sam and Sadie’s friendship against the vividly realized backdrop of the gaming industry at the turn of the 21st century.
Unscripted (2023) is the outrageous true story of Sumner Redstone, the former chairman and controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global). It focuses on the eventful final years of Redstone’s life, as well as the downfall of his successor at CBS, Les Moonves.
The Climate Book (2023) unites dozens of voices in a compelling and eye-opening exploration of the complex relationships between climate change, politics, and media. Offering insights into the interconnectedness of various global issues and the urgent need for systemic change, it contains practical, actionable steps towards a sustainable and equitable future.
Essentially Less (2023) isn’t a Blink based on a book, it is the book. In a time when our attention is becoming a crucial and contested resource, it makes a case for the importance of focusing on what’s essential. It’s a joint production by journalist Dirk von Gehlen and Blinkist’s editors.
Breaking the Cycle (2011) outlines a series of tried and tested exercises that widen the gap between sex addicts and their compulsive sexual behaviors. Sticking to these techniques builds confidence in sex addicts to move on from their obsession toward a richer life that prioritizes their wellbeing and relationships.
Pornland (2010) invites you to dive deep into the world of modern pornography and its implications. Discover how the industry's evolution has led to the commodification of women, reshaping societal norms and expectations. Embark on a thought-provoking journey that challenges perceptions of intimacy in our digital age.
Where the Girls Are by Susan J. Douglas examines the portrayal of women in American pop culture from the 1960s onwards. It explores how media and advertising have influenced our ideas about femininity and suggests ways we can challenge and transcend these stereotypes in order to create a more inclusive society.