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Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech's Titans and Misfits

Laurie Segall

CNN's former senior tech correspondent shares her front-row seat on the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and other new-media empires--and the geeks turned entrepreneurs who founded them.

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Book Information

Publisher: Dey Street Books
Publish Date: 03/08/2022
Pages: 368
ISBN-13: 9780063016446
ISBN-10: 0063016443
Language: English

What We're Saying

March 07, 2022

Sweetbitter meets Brotopia in a story of self-discovery and breaking barriers by award-winning investigative reporter and former CNN Senior Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

March 11, 2022

Laurie Segall has a lot of stories to tell, but this one is her own, incredibly written, and it is riveting. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

CNN's former senior tech correspondent shares her front-row seat on the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and other new-media empires--and the geeks turned entrepreneurs who founded them.--People

An unflinching, era-defining story of self-discovery and breaking barriers by award-winning investigative reporter Laurie Segall.

In 2008, 23-year-old Laurie Segall was a newly minted assistant at CNN and was living in an East Village walk-up apartment. As Wall Street was crashing down, Segall began discovering a group of scrappy misfits who were rising from the ashes of the recession to change the world: the tech entrepreneurs.

A misfit herself, Segall gained entrance to New York's burgeoning tech scene, with its limitless cash flow and parties populated by geeks-turned-billionaires. Back at the news desk, she rose through the ranks at CNN, while these entrepreneurs went from minnows to sharks, building companies that would become our democracy and our social fabric: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Uber, Tinder.

Over the course of a decade, Laurie Segall became one of the first reporters to give airtime to many of these founders--from Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) to Jack Dorsey (Twitter) to Kevin Systrom (Instagram) to Travis Kalanick (Uber)--while tracking their evolution and society's cultural shift in the CNN startup beat she created. By the end of her tenure at CNN, she had become its on-air senior technology correspondent and had witnessed the rise of second-wave tech, from the boom to the "complicated years" to the backlash, as her misfits emerged as some of the world's most influential leaders.

A coming-of-age narrative chronicling an era transformed, Special Characters is, at its core, a young woman's origin story--in love, in career, and in life--and an account of the humans behind the companies that have shaped our modern society. Filled with emotional heft and razor-sharp observations, Segall's empowering memoir is a richly rendered backstage pass to the tech bubble that reimagined the ethos of our social, political, and cultural experience.

"Fans of Brotopia or anyone who wants a backstage pass to Zuckerberg and some of the biggest co.'s of our time, you'll devour this." --The Skimm

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