Charles Petersen is a Senior Editor at n+1 and a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard. (August 2017)


Take a Hike!

Hikers ascending Tyndall Glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, circa 1920

On the Trail: A History of American Hiking

by Silas Chamberlin

On Trails: An Exploration

by Robert Moor
To the uninitiated it can be hard to understand why anyone would go hiking. Today’s fleece- and Gore-Tex–clad masses may take for granted the attraction of spending weekends doing what, for most of human history, qualified as grunt work: trudging through the wilderness, surrounded by dangerous animals, a heavy pack on your back. Earlier advocates had to be more candid. “This is very hard work for a young man to follow daily for any length of time,” wrote John Meade Gould in a popular guide in 1877. “Although it may sound romantic, yet let no party of young people think they can find pleasure in it for many days.”

Google and Money!

Google cofounder Sergey Brin, center, training in zero gravity for a future vacation in space, 2008

Googled: The End of the World As We Know It

by Ken Auletta

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

by Nicholas Carr
The Internet, as originally conceived, was supposed to be noncommercial, and therefore treated all traffic in a “neutral” way, giving the same priority to every piece of data that passed through the network. As the Internet has developed, this principle of neutrality, though never codified in law, has largely been retained: whether Internet content comes from a long-established video rental company like Blockbuster or from a relatively recent start-up like Netflix, the pages, images, and videos that are sent through the network must all be passed along at equal speed. For years Google was a staunch supporter of net neutrality, even as net neutrality’s demands began to run counter to its interests. But on August 9, Google together with Verizon announced a “compromise” …

In the World of Facebook

A screen shot of part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal

by Ben Mezrich

Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America

by Julia Angwin
Facebook, the most popular social networking Web site in the world, was founded in a Harvard dorm room in the winter of 2004. Like Microsoft, that other famous technology company started by a Harvard dropout, Facebook was not particularly original. A quarter-century earlier, Bill Gates, asked by IBM to provide …