Finn Brunton’s excellent cultural history of spam offers a readable, witty account of the battle between the spammers and the spammed—a battle of often surprising complexity and astonishing technological escalation, in an arms race that is still being fought.—John Gilbey, Times Higher Education—
Spam will fascinate readers who aren’t experts in the subject matter by shedding new light on the culture and function of their Internet experience. But it has plenty to offer computer scientists and online-community researchers as well… This masterful telling of the history illustrates just how much has changed and how we fit into the larger story.
, Science Magazine
This book is a gem. The goings-on of the twisted personages who populate cyberpunk lit have nothing on the ingenious scheming of the spammers and the scientists dedicated to shutting them down. Read here and in days to come about this fascinatingly bizarre subterranean cyberworld.
A colorful assortment of international tradespeople, drug-pushers, swindlers, and fraudsters, spammers have become a familiar feature of our digital landscape. Finn Brunton’s investigation of the question of spam, Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet—the problems of defining it, understanding it, and tackling it—takes us to the front of an ongoing and highly sophisticated technological war, a keenly contested territorial struggle for control of the information superhighway.
, The Millions
The book, a beautifully written and entertaining one, adopts an historical approach to the discussion of spam and the ‘technological drama’ that it manifests…The real value of the book however, does not lie in this historical reconstruction, but in its ability to use spam, as a tool through to reveal by negative reflection the positive values and beliefs that lay at the foundation of internet communities, and the importance of attention and trust in their working.
—Information, Communication & Society