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3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
American essayist and Harper's contributing editor Garret Keizer offers a brilliant, literate look at our strip-searched, over-shared, viral-videoed existence.

Body scans at the airport, candid pics on Facebook, a Twitter account for your stray thoughts, and a surveillance camera on every street corner -- today we have an audience for all of the extraordinary and banal even
ebook, 208 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Picador
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Jen Hirt
Jan 03, 2014 Jen Hirt rated it really liked it
Keizer's essays on culture and society have always made me stop and think, and this book did the same. He addresses various aspects of privacy, from handwritten letters, to the Patriot Act, to long driveways, to Facebook. While his insight falls short of predecessors like Susan Sontag, it exceeds that of contemporaries like Malcolm Gladwell. For example, he writes, "The surveillance state and the surveillance economy are matched by a surveillance culture." Good point, yes. I think Gladwell would ...more
Sep 12, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
My main take away from this was that you don't have to take sides, exactly, between (a) a world in which we keep most personal information to ourselves and (b) a world in which we share personal information. If you're in the A camp, you can get labeled a Luddite or a Victorian. If you're in the B camp you might be considered part of a narcissistic culture. But the real issue is being able to choose whether you want to want to divulge personal information or not. You might want to talk openly abo ...more
Dec 29, 2015 Spencer rated it liked it
The topic for my debate league this year is privacy versus national security. I got this book from my local library to help my research. In that respect, it was a success. I found information to support both the importance of national security and of privacy. It was also an enjoyable read. It helped me think more about the topic of privacy and formulate my own opinions, not just be able to argue for and against it in a debate round. I would recommend it to others looking to expand their ...more
Steven Martin
Jan 29, 2013 Steven Martin rated it it was amazing
Great stuff, I need to reread. Each page had so many ideas in it, I felt like I was only taking in about a third of what he was saying. Some themes include how class/economics effect who gets privacy and who doesn't. Also he shows how people will throw away their privacy on one day and howl with outrage over invasions of privacy on the next day. Highly reccomended.
Apr 29, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2013
I've been struggling to resolve my thoughts on privacy. This book helped with clear analysis of the concept, importance, and limitations of privacy. I'd go so far as today this book should be a foundational element in civics education (if such a thing still exists).

"...the protection of one's own privacy is often a gesture of respect to another person's sensibilities." (p. 16)

"Privacy and sustainability both belong by first right to the oldest elite the world has ever known, by which I mean the
Mike Rugnetta
Jan 22, 2014 Mike Rugnetta rated it it was ok
Keizer has some nice insight into privacy and related ideas. I can also get down with some of his politics; he seems concerned with representation and oppressed communities (though the chapter on feminism and privacy read like it was an afterthought) and relates those social concerns handily–though not so thoroughly–to privacy.

The book is a sea of references and citations and quotes, which is sometimes nice, sometimes overwhelming.

Where Keizer and I are completely at odds is concerning technol
Cynthia Karl
Jan 24, 2013 Cynthia Karl rated it liked it
This book seems disjointed to me and some of the analogies and examples are facile. There are some excellent examples of court cases that should scare anyone that believes that privacy is a desirable aspect of life. There is no discussion of changes in cultural attitudes to privacy e.g. workers in the Middle Ages bedded down in the castle great hall and kings and queens had almost no privacy at all. A short historical discussion and its effect on society would have helped to put our current ...more
I find privacy to be an incredibly fascinating topic, especially since I took a course last spring in Information Privacy Law. Garret Keizer’s small book is most definitely full of BIG IDEAS. It takes a subject that could be boring and abstract, and turns it into a compelling and relevant look into the role that privacy plays in our lives, and the way the concept has changed over time. Keizer’s writing is also wonderful to read; I found myself posting quote after quote from this book on my ...more
Aug 08, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
This slim volume is eloquent and well-researched but only skims the tip of the iceberg. Although Keizer addresses many important and relevant issues, each one appears just long enough to register before the author flits to the next. For my law homies: this book mostly approaches the topic of privacy from a philosophical, not legal, standpoint, although it does fleetingly mention the elusive penumbra.

Side note: it was refreshing to hear the perspective of someone who is both progressive and priva
Jun 03, 2014 Zuly rated it it was amazing
An impressive collection of essays exploring the concept of privacy and what determines it. Class, gender, culture, technology, and a country's morality are a few determinants considered. I don't see that privacy is a matter of interest to the newest millennials, something I find disturbing.
Dec 21, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing
Keizer can basically do no wrong. I hope he never has cause to write about me from a place of anger.
Jan 06, 2015 Robinne rated it did not like it
Abandoned. Selected it because I enjoyed Getting Schooled, but could not make it through. Gave up about halfway through.
Jul 29, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Excellent, thought provoking, and well written, Keizer attacks the subject of privacy and the different definitions with attention to detail and wit.
Barbara Melosh
Oct 25, 2014 Barbara Melosh rated it really liked it
Fierce clarity in this vigorous defense of privacy and relentless indictment of all the assaults on it in contemporary culture--and the voluntary surrender to social media and pervasive surveillance.
R.Bruce Macdonald
Mar 01, 2013 R.Bruce Macdonald rated it it was amazing
A wonderful look at the concept of privacy through the ages. I found myself re-reading certain passages and making a list of works cited that I hope to read.
Jennifer Mangler
Aug 22, 2014 Jennifer Mangler rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
We all need to think a bit more about the ideas discussed in this book. Very thought-provoking.
Lisa rated it liked it
Jul 26, 2015
Valerie rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2013
Chris Koerner
Chris Koerner rated it really liked it
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Amy rated it it was amazing
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David Rankin
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Steven Borowiec
Steven Borowiec rated it liked it
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Sep 21, 2012
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Garret Keizer is the author of eight books, the most recent of which are Getting Schooled and Privacy. A contributing editor of Harper's Magazine and a Guggenheim Fellow, he has written for Lapham's Quarterly, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications.

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