How seemingly innocuous technologies are unsettling the balance of power by putting it in the hands of the masses—and what a world without “big” will mean for all of us.

In The End of Big, social media pioneer, political and business strategist, and Harvard Kennedy School faculty member Nicco Mele offers a fascinating, sometimes frightening look at how our ability to stay connected—constantly, instantly, and globally—is dramatically changing our world.

Governments are being upended by individuals relying only on social media. Major political parties are seeing their power eroded by grassroots forces through online fund-raising. Universities are scrambling to preserve their student populations in the face of less expensive, more accessible online courses. Print and broadcast news outlets are struggling to compete with citizen journalists and bloggers. Our traditional institutions are being disrupted in revolutionary ways, some for the better.But, as Nicco Mele argues, the benefits of new technology come with unintended consequences.

Mele argues that unless we exercise caution in our use of these new technologies, we risk a dark and wildly unstable future, one in which our freedoms and basic human values could be destroyed rather than enhanced. Both hopeful and alarming, The End of Big is a thought-provoking, passionately argued book that offers genuine insight into the ways we are using technology, and how it is radically changing our world in ways we are only now beginning to understand.

NICCO MELE is a leading forecaster of business, politics, and culture in our fast-moving digital age. Named by Esquire magazine as one of America’s “Best and Brightest,” he served as webmaster for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and popularized the use of technology and social media for political fund-raising, reshaping American politics. Not long after, he helped lead the online efforts for Barack Obama in his successful bid for the U.S. Senate. Mele’s firm, EchoDitto, is a leading Internet strategy company working with nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies, among them Google, AARP, the Clinton Global Initiative, the United Nations, and others. He also serves on a number of boards, including the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, is a cofounder of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and is on the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Visit his Web site, NiccoMele.com, and follow him on Twitter @nicco.  (Macmillan)

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