If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future
Longlisted • National Book Award (Nonfiction)
Best Books of 2020 • Financial Times
Best Books of Fall 2020: O, The Oprah Magazine, The Observer, Boston.com
Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2020: TIME
A revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, from the author of the acclaimed international bestseller These Truths.
The Simulmatics Corporation, launched during the Cold War, mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge―decades before Facebook, Google, and Cambridge Analytica. Jill Lepore, best-selling author of These Truths, came across the company’s papers in MIT’s archives and set out to tell this forgotten history, the long-lost backstory to the methods, and the arrogance, of Silicon Valley.