Books in Brief

Digital Is Destroying Everything, by Andrew V. Edwards (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 232 pp., $34.00).  Edwards, a digital-marketing executive, states at the beginning of this book that it was not his intention to write “a rant against all things digital.”  Nevertheless, his evaluation of what the digital revolution has wrought comes closer to an indictment than anything else I’ve read.  (The author explains that he uses the term digital to cover “all disciplines, practices, and products relating to the information-technology industries.”)  Digital’s destructive effects upon certain enterprises, human society, and the lives of individuals—the newspaper and book industries, the job market, retail business, the professions, and privacy—have been widely discussed for some time now.  To these, Edwards adds the music industry, higher education, financial services, photography, children’s toys—and the historical record.  (“Because of digital, today we stand to lose touch with tangible evidence and, thus, with our own history. . . . Old digital artifacts don’t just get dull, stained, scratched, and cracked.  They become totally impossible to resurrect because there is no means available to read them, produce them, and display them.”)  At a time when underemployment,...

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