PanFinancial Times (UK)\"... it is slightly disappointing to find that in Max Chafkin’s biography The Contrarian, Thiel has been reduced so completely to the role of unlikeable villain. A Bloomberg Businessweek reporter, Chafkin does a good job of chronicling Thiel’s years as intellectual wunderkind, tech investor, would-be hedge fund visionary and rightwing political influencer. Yet sadly, he defaults to a reading that at all times ascribes the worst of motives to its subject who, we are led to believe, set the tech industry on an amoral pursuit of wealth and power. Thiel’s apparent contradictions are certainly plentiful. But then, who said people have to be consistent?
MixedFinancial TimesSome books aren’t really books at all: they’re thinly disguised movie pitches that have been fleshed out to sit between hard covers ... Unfortunately, the \'Revenge of the Winklevii\' is not a strong enough storyline to sustain Bitcoin Billionaires. By the second half of the book, their path to vindication has lost its zing ... Better books will surely be written about the cryptocurrency phenomenon ... But this is still an easy read for anyone willing to go along with the reconstructed dialogue and cinematic scene-hopping that are part of the genre.
PositiveThe Financial TimesA tech futurist, researcher and writer, he is well placed to act as guide to the world described in Dawn of the New Everything ... Compared to today’s social media — which Lanier, no fan, sees as sterile and Pavlovian — VR would be a place to truly encounter others, stripped of the limitations of the everyday persona ... Lanier, however, is an engaging guide, and readers will find themselves wishing that he is right. A lot of the charm of this highly personal account turns on his description of a childhood that reads like something out of a magical realist novel ... Lanier is at his most impassioned here when reprising his earlier arguments, while also making space to warn about the AI that he sees as a natural product of today’s hubristic Silicon Valley.