Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
The Contrarian by Max Chafkin
Add to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The Contrarian

Best Seller
The Contrarian by Max Chafkin
Sep 21, 2021 | ISBN 9781984878533

Pre-order from:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Sep 21, 2021 | ISBN 9781984878533

    Pre-order from:

  • Sep 21, 2021 | ISBN 9781984878540

    Pre-order from:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


“A judicious biography. . . . Unfailing diligent. . . . The Contrarian isn’t just about Thiel; it’s about Silicon Valley’s political coming-of-age, too.” —New York Times

“Punchy and caustic . . . an engrossing look at one of Silicon Valley’s most eccentric and abrasive figures.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Chafkin] does an excellent job of unpicking the disparate elements of the Thiel mythology. Nothing is quite what it seems.” —London Review of Books

“A revealing portrait. . . . A savvy biography. . . . Chafkin deftly portrays his subject as a ‘calculating operator,’ ‘nihilist,’ and predator who has constructed an image ‘so compelling that it has come to obscure the man behind it.’ A brisk, well-researched life of an enigmatic billionaire.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Max Chafkin’s The Contrarian is much more than a consistently shocking biography of Peter Thiel, the most important investor in tech and a key supporter of the Donald Trump presidency. It’s also a disturbing history of Silicon Valley that will make you reconsider the ideological foundations of America’s relentless engine of creative destruction.” —Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store

The Contrarian is a captivating, incisive, rigorously reported examination of Silicon Valley’s most mysterious and controversial powerbroker. Max Chafkin doesn’t just illuminate the life of Peter Thiel and the unsettling world he has created. With peerless authority, he tells the broader story of our age, showing us how Silicon Valley’s early utopianism was attacked from within, succumbing to largely unseen forces and giving rise to the darker, more dangerous world we inhabit today.” —Joshua Green, author of Devil’s Bargain

“In The Contrarian, Max Chafkin takes us on a fascinating journey into the life and mind of one of the most influential, and least understood, figures in business and politics.” —Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of Black Edge

“Max Chafkin has taken on the daring task of profiling one of the most secretive and powerful men in the history of Silicon Valley. A dogged reporter and an entertaining writer, he weaves an epic tale filled with startling ambition, cold calculation, and a large helping of contrarian—and contradictory—opinions.” —Emily Chang, author of Brotopia

“Whether you admire him or fear him, Peter Thiel’s influence has been undeniable. In this deeply reported and gripping biography, Max Chafkin reveals the lessons behind Thiel’s rise. It offers essential insights for anyone who wants to understand what Silicon Valley’s global ascendance has wrought—and it’s a really great read.” —Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Max Chafkin
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top