In This Review

The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
By Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
Knopf, 2013, 336 pp

The New Digital Age is a tough read. Ideas, examples, anecdotes, speculations, and assertions fly thick and fast, leaving the reader exhausted. Cyberwar, democratization and the Internet, the effects of 3-D printing on transportation networks, the future of education and arms control: there is hardly a subject that escapes the authors’ attention. But many of the topics Schmidt and Cohen treat in passing are so complicated (and so important) that the book sometimes seems superficial and glib. They grasp the accelerating velocity of change in the digital age but do not always communicate its meaning effectively to readers who still atavistically seek knowledge from books. The book lacks an organizing grand narrative that would tie together its blizzard of frequently startling insights into just how much change the future will bring.