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The New Digital Age

Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen explore the 21st century, in which they see technology reshaping everything from the lives of individuals to the destinies of nations.

The New Digital Age
By Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
Knopf Doubleday
336 pp.

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Reviewed by Andrew Keen for Barnes & Noble Review

Not content to just invent the future, the technology barons of Silicon Valley are now turning their formidable minds to authoring books about this future. First there was LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman's bestselling self-help manual, "The Start-Up of You." Then Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg provoked a national debate with her feminist polemic, "Lean In." And now, with The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google Direct of Ideas Jared Cohen have written a book that, in just under 300 pages, attempts to map out the entire future of our networked century.

With chapters on everything from the future of our selves and our identities to the future of states, revolutions, and terrorism, Schmidt and Cohen certainly can't be accused of thinking small. Indeed, their book, subtitled "Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business," contains the breathtaking ambition of a start-up with a particularly disruptive technology – a play that, inside Google, is known as a "moon shot."

"The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history," Schmidt and Cohen write.  But it's "among the few things humans have built that they don't truly understand."


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