Science & Health Science & Health: news, interviews and reviews from NPR Books

LikeWar

The Weaponization of Social Media

by P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

Hardcover, 405 pages

"Two defense experts explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, where the most important battles are now only a click away. Through the weaponization of social media, the internet is changing war and politics, just as war and politics are changing the internet. Terrorists livestream their attacks, "Twitter wars"produce real-world casualties, and viral misinformation alters not just the result of battles, but the very fate of nations. The result is that war, tech, and politics have blurred into a new kind of battlespace that plays out on our smartphones. P. W. Singer and Emerson Brooking tackle the mind-bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. They explore how ISIS copies the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, a former World of Warcraft addict foils war crimes thousands of miles away, internet trolls shape elections, and China uses a smartphone app to police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts? Delving into the web's darkest corners, we meet the unexpected warriors of social media, such as the rapper turned jihadist PR czar and the Russian hipsters who wage unceasing infowars against the West. Finally, looking to the crucial years ahead, LikeWar outlines a radical new paradigm for understanding and defending against the unprecedented threats of our networked world."—

What the Eyes Don't See

A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

by Mona Hanna-Attisha

Hardcover, 364 pages

"From the heroic pediatrician who rallied a community and brought the fight for justice to national attention comes a powerful firsthand account of the Flint water crisis—a dramatic story of failed democracy and inspiring citizen advocacy and action. In the heart of the world's wealthiest nation, one hundred thousand people were poisoned by the water supply for two years—with the knowing complicity of their government. Written by the crusading pediatrician who helped turn the crisis into a transformative movement for change, What the Eyes Don't See is a devastating insider chronicle of the Flint water crisis, the signature environmental disaster of our time, and a riveting narrative of personal advocacy. Here is the dramatic story of how Dr. Mona used science to prove Flint kids were exposed to lead, and how she courageously went public with her research and faced a brutal backlash. With persistence and single-minded sense of mission, she spoke truth to power. The book explores the horrific reality of how misguided austerity policies and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. A medical and scientific thriller, What the Eyes Don't See grapples with our country's history of environmental injustice while telling the inspiring personal story of Dr. Mona—an immigrant, a doctor, and a scientist—whose family roots in social justice activism buoyed her through the fight for justice in Flint. It captures a timely and essential story of how communities can come together to fight for social justice, even in opposition to their own governments"—