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Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President - What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know
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Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President - What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The question of how Donald Trump won the 2016 election looms over all of the many controversies that continue to swirl around him to this day. In particular, was his victory the result of Russian meddling in our political system? Up until now, the answer to that has been equivocal at best given how difficult it is to prove. Trump has vociferously denied it, as has Vladimir ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2018 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2018)
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Michael Perkins
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tech dystopia is here. This book lays out in detail how it happened and what the implications are. Many users have been psychologically manipulated through their addiction to social media, but don't realize it. Basically totalitarian states----Russia, China, North Korea----have co-otped our love of free expression and used it against us. It's the cyberwar that has been in the making for decades.

One hundred and twenty-six million Americans were exposed to Russian-trafficked content on
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is interested in politics
Recommended to Anuradha by: The New Yorker
Cyberwar is one of the absolutely most riveting pieces of non fiction I have read in a while. Maybe it's because it does, in fact read like a spy novel. Maybe it's because it confirms everything I'd suspected, but also simultaneously, that only makes it more terrifying. But mostly, because nothing gets my wheels going like international politics.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the foremost expert on campaign communications. She has spent her career studying how campaigns craft and disseminate their
A must read for 2019! If you are a political junkie or just want to understand how the Russian meddling is still going on... than read this book. It explains the Russian cyber war against the U.S.A. with careful evidence and expert data. Knowledge is power so Americans need to grasp the situation more than ever.
Jeffrey Powanda
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trump-russia
A persuasively-argued, impressively researched investigation into the sophisticated, coordinated Russian cyberattack designed to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

Surprisingly, the Russians’ messaging was strategically adept, although filled with clumsy typos. Examples of the Russian content provide some of the most entertaining sections of the book. The Russian-originated or stolen communication shaped the agenda and framing of the news media, reweighted the message environment in news and social
Susan M
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I hated reading this book.

The information was important. I have read at least one other book on the topic, which I found very compelling.

Reading this book was torture. I am not exactly sure what it was -- her choice of obtuse language, difficult phraseology, unclear analysis. I would never recommend this highly praised author, despite her credentials. I would often plan on reading 25 pages and find myself struggling through two or three. Yuk!

Yes, the information is very important. Someone should
Anders Hjortshøj
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't let the lurid title fool you: Anyone who still doubts the astonishing scale, sophistication, and, yes, impact of Russian interference in the 2016 US election ought to read this book.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson draws on her decades-long experience of applying social science methods and concepts (including framing, priming and agenda setting) to studying the effect of advertising and debates on US presidential elections. This offers an excellent point of departure for establishing "what we don't,
Na'ama Yehuda
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in reality ... and the events that unfolded and allowed the results of the last elections -- both on election day and since. While the author leaves the final decision about whether the cyberwar did or did not change the results of the election, she does a masterful job of describing the conditions, realities, and FACTS people ought to be aware of as they reach their own conclusions, as well as the questions that any one should be asking ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Russians did not have to pull levers in the voting booths; just needed to target audiences with persuasive advertising to win this cyber-war.
Sam Poole
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The most frustrating part of reading any piece of investigative work regarding Trump and his repulsive administration is the constant lack of illuminating material. "Fear", which received an undeserved amount of credit for regurgitating trash and platitudes that surprised no one, has unfortunately been the torch bearer (and likely standard setter) for the burgeoning "Trump is evil....but impressive!!!" empire of imaginative nonfiction we're going to be subjected to for decades once he's finally ...more
Dennis Fischman
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An important book by a serious scholar. She has a sophisticated political science understanding of how social media, or any media, influence public opinion. She is not positing a magic syringe that injects anti-Clinton, pro-Trump ideas into people's minds. Instead, she is showing how social media can amplify certain themes, downplay others, set the agenda, mobilize some constituencies, and discourage other constituencies from participating.

Jamieson also paints a horrifying picture of how the
John Spiller
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Cyberwar" is a scholarly attempt to assess whether Russian interference changed the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. As Jamieson makes clear, we will never definitively know whether Russian hackers caused Trump to be elected President. "Cyberwar" makes a fairly compelling case that Russian interference probably helped Trump win.

To begin with, the Russian bots and fictitious social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter worked almost in tandem with Trump's campaign messaging. Russia
Stephen Morrissey
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much commentary on the Russian "interference" in the 2016 election goes something like this: "Yes, the Russians hacked Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Party, but it did not alter the ultimate outcome. That was up to the voters themselves." Jamieson meticulously demolishes that position, marshalling facts, figures, and theories on media and human behavior to say that American voters were likely swayed by the Russian attacks, the media narrative and framing of those attacks, and a certain false ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
f you're familiar with the phrase “Russia meddled or interfered in the 2016 election" and concerned for your country, I recommend you read “Cyber-War” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson about Russia’s “mind-messing” effort. The author’s conclusion is summarized on the book jacket: “Drawing on path-breaking work in which she and her colleagues isolated significant communication effects in the 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, the eminent political communications scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson marshals ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As an avid reader of everything I can find about the 2016 presidential election I find myself concluding that the Russian government under the direction of Vladimir Putin interfered in said election to the benefit of Trump and the detriment of Clinton. However, despite my intense feelings on this subject, I was unable to conclude with certainty that the efforts by the Russians did in fact help elect Trump. However, after reading this book, I have no doubt that in this close electoral college ...more
Jeffrey Ogden Thomas
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stunning, excruciatingly detailed logical proof of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. I grant five stars because of the importance of this issue, though frankly the detailed nature of the analysis is excruciating -- the author covers and re-covers the same ground from multiple directions, effectively answering all imaginable logical objections to the conclusion.
Unfortunately, Trump supporters are unlikely to read the full analysis, so the effort merely reinforces the beliefs
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a detailed academic analysis of what happened in the 2016 election by someone who has been doing this kind of thing for decades. The bottomline is that Americans, not Russians, elected Donald Trump. He was assisted by circumstances, Hillary Clinton's self-destructive mistakes, James Comey, the mainstream press, and Russians. There is no doubt that the Russian propaganda campaign, waged to help Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton, is one of the main factors in his victory. The Russians ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A scholarly report on the Russian hacking of the 2016 election. She tackles the important question of whether the combination of troll activity on the internet and the hacking of DNC emails materially influenced the outcome. Her conclusion is that it probably did.

Its too bad she (or someone) isn't able to take a more statistical approach to the problem, because I think it would be more convincing.

I actually think one can get the gist of it from reading her important article in the New Yorker,
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meticulously researched, this is an indispensable source for actual data on how hackers, trolls, the media, and our understanding of how best to manipulate public opinion converged in the 2016 presidential election. From "agenda setting, framing, message priming, message weighting, debates, negative information, contagion, peer influence, and the spiral of silence" to "Kremlin-tied interventions," the data are conclusive that the deliberate attempts to alter the outcome of the election were ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Further erosion of our democracy

Jamieson Cyber-War. How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President

Our eroded democracy, which is pretty much already an oligarchy, was ripe for attack by Russia. Professor Jamieson presents comprehensive facts to support her thesis. A main concern was, “the news media who inadvertently helped them achieve their goals” by the bread and circus atmosphere of the 24/7 news cycle. She painstakingly explores who, what, how and why the attacks this time were
Trudy Preston
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not an easy book to read on all fronts: dense and academic, while at the same time being a true horror story, terrifying enough to challenge Stephen King. Bottom line, the Russians committed an overwhelming act of war and the U. S. response was, "eh." And guess what? The Russkies are locked and loaded and prepared to do it all over again. Welcome to the oligarchy, comrade.
Ed Eleazer
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent non-partisan investigation of how the Russians influenced the 2016 presidential race. Its only problem is that it's SCHOLARLY — which means there are many facts and figures, redundancies, and ambiguities, which makes it a difficult read for a lay audience, Being a scholar, myself, I found its argument quite convincing.
May 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
Strength in numbers or how a divided hive was disrupted by the evil foreigners.
Robin Case
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
No new information here. Weak analysis. Readable but not recommended.
Ted Tschopp
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great summary of the media impacts the Russian Hackers had on the 2016 election.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think the argument is oversold, but presents a case that the impact of the election meddling was greater than much of the left and all of the right acknowledges.
Steven Maher
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This was a difficult read in that it was so detailed and precise. Yet it is just those qualities that made it so persuasive and terrifying.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now here is a book everyone who worries about the survival of our political system should read. It is a scholarly study of what we can know about Russian meddling has done and may do to our politics.
Kenneth Flusche
Mar 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Did not finish, very repedative and confusing with it's Don't, Can't, and DO KNOW.
Jessica Scott
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The intriguing part of this is the mass media exposure argument.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a great deal that was new if you follow the news closely, but well-organized and from an author who has done extensive work on the levers that sway elections.
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