Privacy [BIG IDEAS//small books]
On sale: August 7, 2012
A Picador Paperback Original
Politics / Current Events / Culture
PRAISE FOR PRIVACY
“Acclaimed essayist and Harper’s contributor Keizer conducts a philosophical meditation on the nature of privacy and finds that the ‘right to be let alone’ is a lot more complex than many may think…. With unyielding analytical scrutiny, Keizer raises plenty of doubt about the primacy of so-called private lives…. The consequences of such revelations are vast, and readers will be left considering the implications long after the last page is turned. A provocative and unsettling look at something most take for granted—but shouldn’t.”
“Keizer ably describes the disturbing and ever-diminishing expectations of privacy…and makes a cogent analysis of the threats to privacy that accompany smartphones and other digital devices. Keizer’s commentary reaches deeply into the fabric of post 9/11 America and finds a landscape that has compromised the fundamental human need for privacy, and argues passionately for the value of privacy in a democratic society”
“[A] thoughtful examination of the concept of privacy… Though debates over privacy tend to be driven by technological developments—Facebook and the like—Keizer reminds us that our personal and cultural “privacy settings” or lack of them have political, environmental, and even spiritual valences that are ignored at the expense of democracy and social justice…. Keizer’s cautionary wisdom is informed by a deeply felt humanism and presented with eloquence and wit.”
— Brendan Driscoll, Booklist
PRAISE FOR GARRET KEIZER
“Very few writers combine thoughtfulness and rage as satisfyingly as Garret Keizer.”
American essayist and Harper’s contributing editor Garret Keizer offers a brilliant, literate look at our strip-searched, over-shared, viral-videoed existence.
Body scans at the airport, candid pics on Facebook, a Twitter account for your stray thoughts, and a surveillance camera on every street corner — today we have an audience for all of the extraordinary and banal events of our lives. The threshold between privacy and exposure becomes more permeable by the minute. But what happens to our private selves when we cannot escape scrutiny, and to our public personas when they pass from our control?
In this wide-ranging, penetrating addition to the Big Ideas//Small Books series, and in his own unmistakable voice, Garret Keizer considers the moral dimensions of privacy in relation to issues of social justice, economic inequality, and the increasing commoditization of the global marketplace. Though acutely aware of the digital threat to privacy rights, Keizer refuses to see privacy in purely technological terms or as an essentially legalistic value. Instead, he locates privacy in the human capacity for resistance and in the sustainable society “with liberty and justice for all.”
ABOUT GARRET KEIZER
Garret Keizer is the author of six books, mostly recently of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise. He is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, a contributing writer to Mother Jones, and a recent Guggenheim Fellow.
Privacy on the Picador website
Cover image for download
Author photo for download
Garret Keizer on The Colbert Report (2010) [opens with sound]
Garret Keizer discusses his previous book about noise on To the Best of Our Knowledge
Garret Keizer on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate discussing his previous book
For a review copy, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com