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      Margaret O’Mara, The Code. Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America reviewed by Antti Tarvainen

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            Silicon Valley has emerged as the key metaphor of the innovation-led economic development in the 21st century. As the Valley’s technology monopolies and utopias expand, there is a growing need for critical histories that help to ground and contextualize the futures that are spreading from San Francisco Bay. In this review essay, I suggest that a settler-colonial approach offers interesting possibilities for the creation of such histories. To demonstrate how such an approach works, I develop a settler-colonial reading of Margaret O’Mara’s recent book The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (2019). By critically analysing the key metaphors in O’Mara’s celebrated book, the global and violent face of the Valley becomes visible. The settler-colonial approach, I conclude, offers one possible analytical approach to breaking the stranglehold of America-centred understanding typical of the histories of Valley.


            Author and article information

            Pluto Journals
            28 March 2022
            : 37
            : 4
            : 371-381
            [1 ]Global Development Studies University of Helsinki, Finland
            Author notes
            [* ] Correspondence: Antti Tarvainen ( antti.tarvainen@ 123456helsinki.fi )



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            Page count
            Pages: 19

            The Code. Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by (2020) Penguin Books, New York, 512pp., $US20.00 paperback, ISBN: 9780399562204

            Review essay

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics


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