Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites And Their War On The Industrial Revolution: Lessons For The Computer Age” as Want to Read:
Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites And Their War On The Industrial Revolution: Lessons For The Computer Age
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Rebels Against The Future: The Luddites And Their War On The Industrial Revolution: Lessons For The Computer Age

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Kirkpatrick Sale is at the tumultuous center of a technology backlash, actively challenging Bill Gates on the one hand and the Unabomber on the other. The subject of bets, barbs, and grudging praise in the pages of WIRED, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, Rebels Against the Future takes us back to the first technology backlash, the short-lived and fierce Lu ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 17th 1996 by Basic Books (first published 1995)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rebels Against The Future, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rebels Against The Future

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 240)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The Luddites were a loose confederation of textile workers living in 1800s England (in the same area where Robin Hood became famous) who saw their way of life destroyed by the coming of technology.

They worked out of their cottages or small craft shops. There was pride in their work. There was no boss or time clock to consider, so there were occasional ale breaks. They weren’t rich by any means, but, being part of a centuries-old tradition, they made a living. Machines came along which allowed on
May 01, 2008 Shaun rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shaun by: my web design teacher in college (!)
This is a well researched account of the brief and incredible Luddite uprising in England during the Industrial Revolution (specifically attributed to events between Nov. 1811 - Jan. 1813 in central England). Sale does a fine job of illustrating the rapid degradation in the lives of the working class in England during the rise of the mechanized workplace, and gives a compelling argument for the frustration and desperation that led people to band together to destroy the new machines which had put ...more
This jam was well-written and painstakingly researched. If you ever wanted to know more about Luddites, this is the place to go. Summation: a working class being displaced by the oncoming industrial revolution in England destroy burgeoning technology that poses a threat to their livelihoods. The intricacies of the authorities' clamp down on the Luddites and the Luddites tenacity and callous courage are what make the book truly compelling. As far as the "lessons for the computer age" go, Sale sto ...more
This is a history of the Luddite Rebel in England in 1812 with three chapters tacked on about how this applies to current technology trends. King (or General or Ned) Luddite was a fictional leader of the rebellion. All letters and threats were in his name but no such person can be identified nor the exact origin of the term. The cottage industry of weavers and spinners was rapidly being replaced by factories in the midlands area of England with upwards of 100,000 workers replaced by factories hi ...more
Originally picked up this book due to my interest the history of the Luddite Movement and to that extent the book was quite good and well researched. However, the book also includes sections on the applications of the lessons of which, given the book's original publication in 1995, has not aged well in the intervening years with the rise of the internet. Ultimately the authors basic thesis that improvements in technology leads to a upheaval in industry and the loss of jobs as they are replaced b ...more
An interesting combination of History Of British Luddites 1811-1813 and Neo-Luddite Manifesto. Has an excessively romantic view of pre-industrial societies, at least (specifically) where the Amish are concerned, although I have no first-hand experience of the other groups he mentions. The history part is well-researched and thorough; the Luddites were a fascinating movement that not a lot of people really know about--apart from the ubiquitous anti-technology epithet that has as much to do with t ...more
If there were a (10th or 15th Anniversary) Edition of this that cut the entire second half out of the book (that is: Chapters 8, 9 & 10) this book would be vastly improved for it. I think Sale's project (showing a historical continuity between Luddites and proto-anti-civ mostly anti-certainthingstheydon'tlikeaboutmodernity groups) is laudable but the 1995 publication date makes it really drag (especially cause he takes a pretty watered down mothership earth approach to his anti-tech in the l ...more
Interesting discussion but enjoyed the history of the movement anyway
I read this for research and was surprised to find that it flowed more like a story than a dull retelling of the Luddite past. Kirkpatrick Sale does an excellent job of reeling the reader in by dangling the personal stories of people at that time and displaying them in a fascinating light. I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the Luddites, whether it's required reading or for your own enjoyment and knowledge.
Ryan Mishap
The telling is a bit disjointed, but an overall good history of the luddites and the rise of industrial capitalism. The second half of the book details the 2nd industrial revolutions--the computer age--and this is well worth reading.
Pretty interesting stuff, but Sale gets a little carried away with his modern-day, computer-age comparisons. I was much more interested and entertained by his actually history and less so by his commentary.
Muhammad Sharnoubi
Muhammad Sharnoubi marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
Nilu added it
Feb 10, 2015
Nilu marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2015
Sophie marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2015
Tracy Speakman
Tracy Speakman marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Lakulin marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Eric marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Wert marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Halvor Fjellstad
Halvor Fjellstad marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Torie marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2015
V marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
Miss Cellaneous
Miss Cellaneous marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
**S a b i n e l**
**S a b i n e l** marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2014
Doug Irvine
Doug Irvine marked it as to-read
Dec 16, 2014
Christian McCauley
Christian McCauley marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
Seth Lajeunesse
Seth Lajeunesse marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Chris marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2014 marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Myth of the Machine : Technics and Human Development
  • Twilight of the Machines
  • The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography
  • The Cult of Information: A Neo-Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking
  • Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!
  • Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature
  • The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary atlantic
  • The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon
  • Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (Unabridged)
  • Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
  • The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life
  • Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream
  • Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West
  • Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression
  • Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power
  • Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women
  • Living My Life, Vol. 2
SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision Human scale The Green Revolution: The Environmental Movement 1962-1992

Share This Book

“It was the task of industrial society to destroy all of that. All that "community" implies -- self-sufficiency, mutual aid, morality in the marketplace, stubborn tradition, regulation by custom, organic knowledge instead of mechanistic science -- had to be steadily and systematically disrupted and displaced. All of the practices that kept the individual from being a consumer had to be done away with so that the cogs and wheels of an unfettered machine called "the economy" could operate without interference, influenced merely by invisible hands and inevitable balances and all the rest of that benevolent free-market system guided by what Cobbett called, his lip curled toward Hume and James Steuart and Adam Smith, "Scotch Feelosophy.” 3 likes
More quotes…