Review of IOB: “A frightening case study in the power of government”


The Internet’s Own Boy (Review)
By Norm Schrager for Paste Magazine  on June 27, 2014

From the Review:

The Internet’s Own Boy is Brian Knappenberger’s (We are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists) account of Swartz’s immensely abbreviated life as one of the most vital and controversial contributors to the progress of the Internet and, more notably, the availability of its contents. A distinctively human tale in a world of software development, Own Boy succeeds on many levels: it’s a compact, descriptive history of a nascent Internet, a frightening case study in the power of government, and a collection of interviews with the most prominent voices of the Web Age. But most important—and most effective to the storytelling—The Internet’s Own Boy is about a brilliant youngster who was becoming a brilliant man before he took his own life…

Knappenberger traces Swartz’s growth and burgeoning activism with the eye of an investigative reporter, assembling some of the most interesting talking heads in the industry, including Tim Berners-Lee (yeah, he invented the World Wide Web) and soft-spoken Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig. Brilliant minds themselves, they all recognized Swartz’s smarts and courage, and express it on screen wonderfully.