Chris Hoofnagle Reviews Books on Facebook Enigma

The Huffington Post


That is one of many anecdotes shared in David Kirkpatrick's The Facebook Effect that sheds light upon Mark Zuckerberg, the enigmatic and very young founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg is courted by billionaires, fawned over by fans, and worshiped by entrepreneurs, yet he remains a mystery. What animates this man's character and ambition? What are his goals for Facebook? It's an important question -- a Harvard dropout in his mid-twenties controls the hub of a communications system with the personal information of 500 million users.

Different answers are provided in two recent books chronicling Zuckerberg's founding and nurturing of Facebook. Ben Mezrich's Accidental Billionaires, published in 2009, is a sensational narrative account of the company's founding. I read it in a single sitting. It really is that exciting and engaging. Based upon interviews with early competitors (or perhaps co-founders) of the company, Mezrich's book was written without the cooperation of Facebook, and is being adapted to a motion picture to be released in October.