Hacker Culture Reading Lists: Hacker History

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Hacker Studies Reading List: Hacker History

Like the word hacker, the history of hackers and hacking is pretty diffuse and it is not particularly helpful to try to establish a totalizing point of origin.

As such, the history of hackers doesn’t fit neatly into a single book when there are diffuse hacker cultures based in computing, cybercrime and counter-culture. While MIT is often understood as the origin point of much of what is thought of as hacker culture, it is worth de-centering the campus to identify alternative hacker cultures and use their histories to contrast values and material contributions to the idea of hackers broadly.

Reading List

Bretthauer, D. (2002). Open Source Software: A History. Information Technology and Libraries, 1(21), 3–10.

Brunton, F. (2013). Spam: A shadow history of the internet. MIT Press.

Levy, S. (2010). Hackers (1st ed). O’Reilly Media.

Menn, J. (2019). Cult of the Dead Cow: How the original hacking supergroup might just save the world. PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

Middleton, B. (2017). A History of Cyber Security Attacks: 1980 to Present. Auerbach Publications.

Peterson, T. F. (2011). Nightwork: A history of hacks and pranks at MIT. MIT Press.

Pettis, B. (2008, June 28). The Chaos Computer Club 1981-1984 » NYC Resistor. NYCResistor. https://www.nycresistor.com/2008/06/28/the-chaos-computer-club-1981-1984/

Pettis, B. (2008, July 4). Cats, Dataloos, and a BTX Bank Robbery – The CCC in 1984 » NYC Resistor. NYCResistor. https://www.nycresistor.com/2008/07/04/cats-dataloos-and-a-btx-bank-robbery/

Sterling, B. (1993). The hacker crackdown: Law and disorder on the electronic frontier. Bantam.

Thomas, D. (2002). Hacker culture. University of Minnesota Press.

Turkle, S. (1984). The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Twentieth Anniversary Edition). MIT Press.

Wasiak, P. (2012). ‘Illegal Guys’ A History of Digital Subcultures in Europe during the 1980s. Studies in Contemporary History, 9, 257–276.