The Googlization of Everything

The Googlization of Everything

(and Why We Should Worry)

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Looks at the dark side of Google and its search engine, raising issues about intellectual property rights, the way Google makes people think and more, in a book where the author also looks at ways to avoid a Google-dominated Internet.

University of California Press
"Eloquent and urgent public thinking of the rarest kind, on a subject with the most encompassing implications for our world. Please read it today."- Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude

"While there have been other books chronicling the company's amazing rise, I know of none that looks so broadly and smartly, soberly but entertainingly, at the implications of this giant new global fact of life. Siva Vaidhyanathan has set the table brilliantly for one of the most important conversations of the early 21st century."- Kurt Andersen, author of Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America and radio host, Studio 360

"Vaidhyanathan is everything you could want in a cultural critic: funny, fantastically readable, and insightful as hell. It's always a treat when a new Vaidhyanathan comes out."--Cory Doctorow, author of For the Win and co-editor of Boing Boing (

"Siva Vaidhyanathan's lively, thoughtful, and wide-ranging book makes clear, in detail, how Google is reshaping the way we live and work. He finds much to admire, but also challenges us to not only use Google's services, but to go beyond them to create a new and genuinely democratic information order."--Anthony Grafton, author of Codex in Crisis

"A provocative and irreverent book that aims to knock the Google-dust out of our eyes and teach us to be much more aware of the ruthless logic of Google's growing power over how we view information and understand our world."- Pamela Samuelson, Berkeley Law School

"This is a critically important book because it's really about the Googlization of All of Us. This is a brilliant meditation on technology, information, and consumer inertia, as well as an ambitious challenge to change how, where, why, and what we Google. Vaidhyanathan forces us to think long and hard about taking responsibility for what we all know and how we know it."--Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor of Slate Magazine

"This is such an important book--courageous and wise, with not an ounce of blather or hyperbole. Vaidhyanathan reminds us that 'We are not Google's customers: we are its products,' and then explores the many profound implications of this reality. It's going to be a long Age of Google, and we're going to need this book throughout." - David Shenk, author of Data Smog and The Genius in All of Us

"A powerful and gripping tour de force. Siva Vaidhyanathan uses Google to examine our capacity for blind faith and to worship innovation as an end in itself. You cannot read this book and remain unstirred."-Tim Wu, author of The Master Switch and Professor, Columbia Law School

"This is an important and timely topic, and Vaidhyanathan's head and heart are in the right place to guide the public through the thickets of 'googlization'."--Paul Duguid, co-author of The Social Life of Information

"Finely written and engaging, this is a book for anyone who has used Google."--Toby Miller, author of Makeover Nation: The United States of Reinvention

In the beginning, the World Wide Web was exciting and open to the point of anarchy, a vast and intimidating repository of unindexed confusion. Into this creative chaos came Google with its dazzling mission—“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible”—and its much-quoted motto, “Don’t be evil.” In this provocative book, Siva Vaidhyanathan examines the ways we have used and embraced Google—and the growing resistance to its expansion across the globe. He exposes the dark side of our Google fantasies, raising red flags about issues of intellectual property and the much-touted Google Book Search. He assesses Google’s global impact, particularly in China, and explains the insidious effect of Googlization on the way we think. Finally, Vaidhyanathan proposes the construction of an Internet ecosystem designed to benefit the whole world and keep one brilliant and powerful company from falling into the “evil” it pledged to avoid.

& Taylor

Delves into the dark side of Google, discussing issues of intellectual property, how to avoid a Google dominated internet, and how the search engine is changing the way people think.

Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011
ISBN: 9780520258822
Branch Call Number: 338.761 VAI
Characteristics: xiv, 265 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 08, 2015

This was a good book, albeit a bit too timid and constrained for my tastes. There have been some interesting articles recently tying Google's founding and original financing with the NSA/DIA/CIA? Also, various tech companies have capitulated to China, beginning with Jerry Yang's Yahoo (he's no longer with them) when Yang gave up the pro-democracy Chinese activist who then disappeared within the Chinese gulag system. As far as I know, Microsoft is still adding either advapi.dll or a similar NSA backdoor to their operating systems, likewise Apple. Most unsettling is that Bezos' Amazon has a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA, meanwhile he owns WaPo! Much to be disturbed about. . . . and remember, the tech companies really aren't our friends! [And tech companies like Narus, owned by Boeing, frequently sell sytems used to track down pro-democracy activists in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, et cetera.]

Jun 07, 2015

It was written before Snowden, and the blog associated with it appears to be down, but its still very good. Its also a breathe of fresh air to read some criticism of the tech private sector for once (its interesting that libraries tend to toot their own horn about supposedly standing up to government agencies but they seem to be silent about the privatization of the libraries themselves by, ya know, cool and hip companies like google and its specific mindset). Tech people like googlers or hackers have become sacred cows and Vaidhyanathan accurately writes about how biased and self serving (and creepy) their way of doing things are. They need a good spanking. With all the criticism of the government (much of it merited), its interesting how two-faced, hypocritical companies like google can divert blame or accountability by tricking people into believing that blindly trusting the hip, fresh private sector that "gets it" is somehow revolutionary (I honestly have no idea what people mean by that word anymore) and should replace publically funded institutions. Thanks hacker and coder cult members, you really, really shouldn't have.

Mar 18, 2015

A fascinating and eye-opening explanation of Google and similar companies in human affairs. The suggestion in the epilogue is worth pursuing.

Dec 22, 2014

Vaidhyanathan is an astute critic of what he deems "techno-fundamentalism" and a champion of civil society and a meaningful global public culture. He is by no means out to destroy Google, and in fact is quite an admirer of what the company has accomplished. He just wants us to remember that it IS a company, and its duty is to make profits, not to be a force for good in the world. This book does a commendable job of laying out where to look for the biases and assumptions that underlie Google's accomplishments and points out ethical conflicts and hypocrisies where he sees them, touching particularly on Google's positions on net neutrality, surveillance and privacy issues in China, and the copyright quandaries of Google Books. Along the way, we get some memorable snippets of Vaidhyanathan's public service philosophy, such as, “Because we have failed at politics, we now rely on marketing to make our world better. That reliance is the height of collective civic irresponsibility. It’s a meaningless pose.”

All said, well worth reading, although the work probably could have been done in a 50-page essay rather than a 200-page book.

Sep 29, 2011

Good book. Will have me taking a step back and remembering how privacy is important to me. Google isn't necessarily violating that but it's not protecting it my opinion

debwalker Apr 28, 2011

Argues for changes in the ways people sort and receive information online.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top