The Influencing Machine, by Brooke Gladstone

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Four stars, read in January 2012.

I love the way this book was done. It’s graphic nonfiction (illustrated by Josh Neufeld), which makes it a really fast and fun read. But it’s full of historical data, too, as well as being a commentary on the way media influences us, and has throughout history. I found all of it fascinating, because I’m a nerd like that.

I think Ira Glass said it best on the back cover: “Like Malcolm Gladwell or Michael Lewis or Michael Pollan, Brooke somehow takes a subject most of us don’t give a damn about and makes it completely entertaining.” At the same time, though, this is a very good subject to give a damn about; I often hope that media literacy is a subject they’ll start teaching in schools, and if they do, this book would be a good resource to start with.

I would check this out immediately if I were you. Library impulse-grabs for the win!

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