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- June 2014: Collecting Shakespeare:The Story of Henry and Emily Folger
- May 2014: The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil
- April 2014: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor '91
- March 2014: Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
- February 2014: Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age
- January 2014: Full Upright and Locked Position by Mark Gerchick '73, P'13
- December 2013: This Indian Country by Fred Hoxie '69
- November 2013: The Partner Track by Helen Wan '95
- October 2013: The Forage House by Tess Taylor '99
- September 2013: Inferno by Dan Brown '86
- August 2013: Six Years by Harlan Coben '84, P'16
- July 2013: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- June 2013 - Brothers Emanuel by Ezekiel Emanuel '79
- May 2013 - Cadaver by Jonah Ansell '03
- April 2013 - Masters of Disaster by Chris Lehane '90
- March 2013 - Schroder by Amity Gaige
- February 2013: El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans
- January 2013: Everything Under the Sun by David Suzuki '58
- December 2012: Arcadia by Lauren Groff
- November 2012: The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon '92
- October 2012: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- September 2012: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum '99
- August 2012: Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski '69
- July 2012: Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach '93
- June 2012: Vineyard at the End of the World by Ian Mount '92
- May 2012: God's Jury by Cullen Murphy '74
- April 2012: Big Birthday by Kate Hosford '88
- March 2012: EyeMinded by Kellie Jones '81
- February 2012: 1493 by Charles Mann '76
- December 2011: The Vices by Lawrence Douglas
- November 2011: Don't Cross Your Eyes by Aaron Carroll '94
- October 2011: Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder '89
- September 2011: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace '85
- August 2011: Scoundrels in Law by Cait Murphy '83
- July 2011: Terror and Wonder by Blair Kamin '79
- June 2011: What Should I Do? by Professor Alex George
- May 2011: Model Nazi by Professor Catherine Epstein
- April 2011: A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei '99
- March 2011: Unlikely Allies by Joel Paul '77
- February 2011: Secret Historian by Justin Spring '84
- December 2010: The Best of Foxtrot by Bill Amend '84
- November 2010: Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker '51
- October 2010: Routes of Man by Ted Conover '80
- September 2010: The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick '75
- August 2010: Innocent by Scott Turow '70
- July 2010: Simple Fresh Southern by Matt and Ted Lee '93
- June 2010: Ballet's Magic Kingdom by Professor Stanely Rabinowitz
- May 2010: Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman '68
- April 2010: Andean Express by Adrian Althoff '04
- March 2010: Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- February 2010: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl '89
- December 2009: What to Read When by Pam Allyn '84
- November 2009: On Poets and Poetry by William H. Pritchard '53
- October 2009: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell '95
- September 2009: Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey
- August 2009: The End of Overeating by David Kessler '73
- July 2009: The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew Pinsky '80
- June 2009: Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus '61
- May 2009: Hold Tight by Harlan Coben '84
- April 2009: Passing Strange by Marni Sandweiss
- March 2009: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian '82
- February 2009: Loneliness as a Way of Life by Tom Dumm
- January 2009: Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- December 2008: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff '01
- November 2008: The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate '89
- October 2008: The Thing Itself by Dick Todd '62
- September 2008: Are We Rome by Cullen Murphy '74
About the Author - David Kirkpatrick '75
(view alumni profile)
Date of Birth
January 14, 1953
Place of Birth
St. Louis MO
BA in English from Amherst, followed by two years in a non-degree program studying painting at the New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture. (I no longer paint, but I learned how to see there, and also there met my wife Elena Sisto, who is an extraordinary painter.)
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
Liberal arts education, strong English department, beautiful campus. Also it was just far enough away for independence and yet also close enough for easy visits home to my parents, who at the time lived in Greenwich, CT.
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) class at Amherst
Bill Pritchard's Modern and Contemporary Poetry
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) professor
In addition to Pritchard, Jack Cameron and Kim Townsend
The future of the Internet and the role of technology in business and society.
Awards and Prizes
Member of Council on Foreign Relations, member of the World Economic Forum's International Media Council--100 top media leaders from around the world.
This reminds me of how, when my daughter was young, she used to press me to say which color I liked best, which kind of vegetable, etc. I am a lover of books and there is no one I consider my all-time favorite. Ironically I would never mention a business book as among my favorites. When it comes to novels The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles comes to mind. I am a great lover of poetry (that Pritchard influence again) and my favorites include Czeslaw Milosz, John Keats, Robert Lowell, Philip Levine, Hayden Carruth, Frank O'Hara, Nazim Hikmet, Wallace Stevens, and Fernando Pessoa.
Tips for aspiring writers?
Write. Write some more. Rewrite. Find a good editor. Have them tell you what you could do better. Rewrite again.
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming an author
I worked at Fortune Magazine for 25 years, the last 20 writing mostly about technology. It was a wonderful place to practice the process I recommend above for aspiring writers. It was a training ground not without pain, but I was surrounded by great writers and journalists who took their craft with deep seriousness. I had superb colleagues and editors. I should also mention that I learned to write at Amherst, especially from Kim Townsend and from Robert Stone, who at the time was writer in residence.
The path that led me to write this book in particular began with an innocuous public relations person's call inviting me to meet with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, in the summer of 2006. I suggested lunch at a local Italian place in Manhattan. Zuckerberg walked in and was so young (he was then 22) that I could hardly believe he was CEO of a company which at the time had almost 10 million users. But when I listened to him talk I found his ideas profound and his determination astonishing. He deeply impressed me. I wrote a column right away called "Why Facebook Matters." I began following the company closely, and developed a good relationship with Zuckerberg. When I realized about a year later that this company's growth was becoming truly historic, I asked Zuckerberg if he would cooperate were I to write a book. When he said "Go for it!" (his exact words) I knew I had no choice. I am lucky that he chose to open up to me and urge his colleagues and friends to do so as well.
David Kirkpatrick is the author of the definitive book on Facebook, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World, published by Simon & Schuster in North America and Australia, also in the UK, British Commonwealth, Germany, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Spain, Latin America and elsewhere. He was for many years senior editor for internet and technology at Fortune, which he joined in 1983.
He wrote numerous cover stories about Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Sun, Intel, and numerous other subjects, features on subjects including Facebook, MySpace, Second Life, the safety of cellphones and Technology in China, plus his weekly "Fast Forward" column. Kirkpatrick is regularly ranked one of the world's top technology journalists.
He created Fortune's Brainstorm brand, beginning with a 2001 conference in Aspen that ran for five years. Now, with a group of former Fortune colleagues, he has organized a conference and media company called Techonomy, focusing on the centrality of technology innovation for all spheres of human activity. The first event took place in August at Lake Tahoe.
He has been a member of the World Economic Forum's International Media Council, consisting of 100 of global media leaders, since 2006, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.