John Markoff was one of a team of New York Times reporters who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He has covered Silicon Valley since 1977, wrote the first account of the World Wide Web in 1993, and broke the story of Google's self driving car in 2010. He is the author of five books including What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry and Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots.
Markoff gives readers a well-researched account of Brand's life, from his early start in 1960s counterculture, to founding the famous Whole Earth Catalog, to his influence on Steve Jobs. . . . It's an insightful account of the Zelig-like figure. -Library Journal A sturdy, readable study of a fellow who's had considerable press devoted to him-but who can still surprise. -Kirkus Markoff's telling of Brand's strange and busy life is compelling-the book version of opening a time capsule filled with unexpected and one-of-a-kind items. -Booklist A fascinating account of one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures in modern American environmental history. It is impossible to understand the complicated and fiercely contested evolutions of environmentalism without understanding the life and work of Stewart Brand and his Whole Earth eco-pragmatism. John Markoff provides the first complete biography of Brand and his remarkable many lives. An important contribution to recent reevaluations of the counterculture and the lasting impact of leading figures like Brand on American history, economy, environment, and culture. -Andrew Kirk, author of Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism Stewart Brand would have been Stewart Brand without the 1960s, but the 1960s would not have been the 1960s without Stewart Brand. I read this entire book in one sitting-it's like finding your parents' diary, and finally learning, OK, so that's what happened. Lots of missing pieces fell into place. -George Dyson, author of Turing's Cathedral For a hint of where the world is headed, watch Stewart Brand, who has been leading the edge of the last ten frontiers. As this fast-paced biography demonstrates, wherever Stewart Brand heads, the rest of us will follow. His well-told life is an inspiration to anyone who wants to shape the whole planet. -Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, Wired Always years ahead of the rest of us, Stewart Brand seeded the DIY movement, re-imagined our buildings, catalyzed the environmental movement, and brought a bright idealism to technological possibility. Biographer John Markoff, who was granted access to never-before-seen materials and conducted extensive interviews with Brand, gives us a singular portrait of a singular individual whose ideas and actions have shaped our world in more ways than we know. -Leslie Berlin, author of Troublemakers To understand Silicon Valley, you need to understand Stewart Brand. Here John Markoff delivers the definitive biography of Brand's extraordinary life, from sleepy 1950s Stanford to the Summer of Love, the birth of personal computing, and the great disruptions of the online age. A deeply reported, engrossing tale of an American idealist and a society remade by belief in the transformative, liberating power of digital technology. -Margaret O'Mara, Author of The Code As it became obvious that one human being has had a stupendously outsized influence on ecology, technology and culture, the question arose: 'Why haven't we seen a picture of the whole Stewart Brand?' Now we have one-John Markoff's superbly researched, lucidly written, and perceptively nuanced portrait of this extraordinary earthling. -Steven Levy, author of Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Stewart Brand has been a puckish troubadour who sparked seminal social movements in each of the past six decades. In this deeply reported and exciting book, the great tech chronicler John Markoff captures Brand's brilliance as a serial visionary. The result is a delightful guide to the techno-optimism, environmental consciousness, and hacker capitalism that drives our world today. -Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs