Reviewed by Matthew Bridgewater and Estee Beck, Bowling Green State University

boy kings

Publisher: Free Press

ISBN: 978-1451668254

Reviewed by

Matthew Bridgewater


Estee Beck


The first person narrative follows Katherine Losse as she gets hired by Facebook as its fifty-first employee, and then moves up through the corporation to the localization (globalization) division and then to maintaining Mark Zuckerberg's blog, essentially being his ghostwriter. Enhanced within the story are episodes that take readers into the parties and trips that are, more or less, a part of the lifestyle of Silicon Valley's young innovators and employees. The chapters, of course, are much more than narratives about the office of Facebook, or its parties and personalities, but also include analysis and commentary from Losse in terms of gender, sexual, racial, and class dynamics.

The Introduction chapter outlines significant global themes that place Facebook squarely in the post-9/11 zeitgeist that made surveillance and monitoring the norm. It also compares Facebook to other social networks, such as MySpace, AIM, or Friendster, that were alive and well before and during Facebook's rise around 2004. Chapters 1 and 2 guide readers through Katherine's hiring and her initiation into Facebook's young, vibrant, hacker, geeky, and preppy culture. Chapters 3 through 7 narrate Facebook's meteoric rise, along with its trials and tribulations. And chapters 8 and 9 focus more on the tension between Katherine's role and her questioning of its values while working as the ghostblogger for Zuckerberg. What seems to drive the chronological plot of the book is the tension between Katherine's (and other employees') role and ideas for the company with many of Facebook's visionaries (such as Mark Zuckerberg).