Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds sent me a copy of his new book, An Army of Davids a couple weeks back. Glenn occasionally does guest reviews for us here at Gizmodo, so it's the least we can do to get the word out about his book—it's obvious he's put a lot of research into it.
I'm about halfway through An Army of Davids so far—oh, it's about "markets and technology empower ordinary people to beat Big Media, Big Government and other Goliaths" by the way—and there's plenty to chew on so far, despite a few topics being so well-trodden that I nearly skipped entire chapters. (Did you know about the power of blogs?)
I'm glad I didn't skip the parts about blogging and citizen media, though, in large part because Reynolds discusses a lot of blogs in the political sphere that I just don't have much familiarity with. And as much as we tech bloggers like to toot our horns about breaking hot gadget news, there's no question that the work of people like J.D. Johannes—who is telling the story of a single platoon of Marines on a shoestring budget using cheap, modern tech—is immeasurably more important than any given iPod rumor.
There are definitely some ideas that I don't entirely buy, like the one where Reynolds claims that large bookstores have created the social spaces we crave as a species as public spaces become less and less common. I'm not quite sure why that doesn't sit right with me—perhaps because, growing up in a suburb, hanging out in a Barnes & Noble was an option of last resort, and even then it didn't obviate the need for non-corporate public spaces. Maybe I'm a filthy East Coast liberal, but I just can't get with 'kids hanging out at malls' being a positive thing, even if I can accept malls may be serving a natural sociological function.
Anyway, this is a weak endorsement—I haven't even finished the damn thing—but as someone who makes his living operating blogs that sit literally on the intersection of corporate and citizens' media, An Army of Davids has already given me a lot to think about. —Joel Johnson