Was Wired Right?

Two early reviews have very different takes on the book, which was officially published today.

Salon: The Future Was So Bright, by Andrew Leonard

The New York Observer: A White-Hot Media Company’s Mania for Breaking New Ground, by Brad Wieners

In Salon, Andrew Leonard begins with high praise, but then asks a hard question:

Wired: A Romance is a very good book, and there are ample hints and pointers to the larger significances of Wired’s story. But in what had to be a conscious decision, Wolf chooses not to attempt to resolve some of the questions he raises — for example, whether Louis Rossetto’s beliefs in the politically and economically transformative powers of new technology have actually been borne out, or contradicted, by events.

Meanwhile, former Wired staffer Brad Wieners gave the book lots of ink in the New York Observer. B.W. also praised the book and also felt something was missing. Calling it “a masterful case study of how the ambition needed to launch a breakthrough company can also lead to its undoing,” and bringing a smile to my face with the phrase “perceptive and stylish,” B.W. went on to say that there was something less-than-candid about its description of Wired’s office atmosphere – and my own role in it.

In the piece I wrote recently about Wired’s Worst Stories, some of B.W.’s complaints are answered. But A.L.’s request is much more serious. Was Wired right? As the book continues to gain attention, pressure to answer this question increases, as does my reluctance.

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