The Digital Decade’s Definitive Reading List: Internet & Info-Tech Policy Books of the 2000s

by on December 29, 2009 · 63 comments

book stackSo, did the decade just end or do we have another year to go? Honestly, I’ve never understood when the cut-off is from one decade to the next. (My friend Larry Magid struggles with the same question in his recent column on “The Decade in Technology.”) Nonetheless, I’ve seen a lot of best-of-decade lists published recently, so I thought I would throw my own out there even though it is still a work in progress.

I have been attempting to compile the definitive bibliography for our digital decade—the definitive list of Internet policy books, that is. I started throwing this together two years ago when I was penning my list of “The Most Important Internet Policy Books of 2008” and continued to work on it as I was finishing up my 2009 installment as well. I grabbed every book off my shelf that dealt with the future of the Internet and the impact the Digital Revolution is having on our lives, culture, and economy and threw the title and a link onto this list. (I’m also using the list to help structure my thoughts for a forthcoming book of my own on Internet Optimists vs. Pessimists, something I’ve been writing a lot about here in recent years.)

Below you will find what I’ve got so far. There are around 80 90 books on the list. I’ve divided the list by year, but you may be wondering what determined the order the books appear in. In essence, I’ve listed what I feel are the 1 or 2 most important titles first and then just added others randomly. Eventually, I plan to post a “Most Important Internet Policy Books of the Decade” list outlining which titles I believe have been the most influential. I suspect I’ll name Benkler’s Wealth of Networks to the top slot followed closely by Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet, Lessig’s Free Culture, and Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. Anyway, that’s for another day.

For now, I would just like to ask for reader suggestions regarding what other titles that should appear on this list. I will add titles as they come in. I want to stress, however, that I am trying to keep this list limited to books that have something to say about Internet policy (cyber-law, digital economics, information technology politics, etc).

I hope others find this useful.  And yes, I have read all* most of the books on this list!  As I’ve noted here before, I’m a bit of book nerd.  (*Now that I’ve received so many helpful additions to the list, there are some titles on the list I have not had a chance to read through yet).















UPDATE (Dec. 2010): If you believe 2010 should be included in this list, here’s a list of the major books from that year.

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