Imaginary Futures

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Book: Imaginary Futures. Richard Barbrook. Pluto Press, 2007



"Dr. Richard Barbrook traces the early days of the Internet, beginning from a pivotal point at the 1964 World’s Fair, in what critics are saying is the most well-researched and original account of cybertechnology among contemporary works. He demonstrates how business and ideological leaders put forth a carefully orchestrated vision of an imaginary future, where robots would do the washing up, go to the office and think for us. With America at the forefront of these promises, Barbrook shows how ideological forces joined to develop new information technologies during the Cold War era and how what they created historically has shaped the modern Internet, with intended political consequences.

Crucially, he argues that had the past been different, our technological and political present would not be what it is today. Barbrook’s conclusions about the modern state of the Internet, puts forward a call for action in how the world’s most important tool of revolutionary politics should be approached."

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Online drafts available at