Books by Frank Rose

The Sea We Swim In

How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

“Frank Rose’s fascinating new book is an essential companion for our age – when narratives, no matter how incredible, produce real-world outcomes that defy all reason. ‘The Sea We Swim In’ takes us systematically through the elements that create compelling stories and offers a practical guide both to crafting powerful tales and to resisting the pull of the most dangerous.”

—Rita McGrath, Columbia Business School professor and author of “Seeing Around Corners”

BUILDING ON INSIGHTS from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, ‘The Sea We Swim In’ shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told. This is the essence of narrative thinking. More about this book…

The Art of Immersion

How the Digital Generation Is Changing Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories

“We can spy the future in Frank Rose’s brilliant tour of the pyrotechnic collision between movies and games. This insightful book convinced me that immersive experiences are rapidly becoming the main event in media. . . . Future-spotting doesn’t get much better than this.”

— Kevin Kelly, author of “What Technology Wants”

NOT LONG AGO WE WERE SPECTATORS, passive consumers of mass media. Now we approach television shows, movies, even advertising as invitations to participate — as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will. What we’re witnessing is the emergence of a new form of narrative that is native to the In­ternet. More about this book…

The Agency

William Morris and The Hidden History of Show Business

“A cram course on the modern entertainment business as seen not from the cus­tomary perspective of the talent, but from the point of view of the humble appa­ratchiks who doggedly tried to prevent the lunatics from wrecking their asylum.”

— Peter Bart, The New York Times Book Review

FOR DECADES, the Morris agency made deals that determined the fate of stars, studios, and television networks alike. But everything changed after the agency’s president dismissed his own best friend, the man who’d brought Barry Diller and Michael Ovitz out of the mailroom. A multi-generational saga of loyalty and betrayal in Hollywood. More about this book…

West of Eden

The End of Innocence at Apple Computer

“Zesty, highly readable . . . ‘West of Eden’ delivers a bracing keyhole view of a swarm of rich, talented people frequently at each others’ throats. The author . . . has a sharp eye for the painful contradictions in people’s lives that make you glad he’s profiling somebody else.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

IT SEEMS UNTHINKABLE TODAY—but some 35 years ago, when personal com­puters were still new and the World Wide Web had yet to be invented, Steve Jobs was cast out of Apple. And yet it wasn’t just Wall Street that applauded—it was most of Silicon Valley. More about this book…

Into the Heart of the Mind

An American Quest For Artificial Intelligence

Into the Heart of the Mind

“A good, acces­sible re­port for the gen­eral reader on one of the most bizarre fas­cina­tions of mod­ern sci­ence.”

— Theo­dore Roszak, San Fran­cis­co Chron­icle

IN A CRAMPED LABORATORY tucked away in the Berkeley engineering school, a small team of scientists is trying to teach a minicomputer named Kim No-VAX to think—not just to shuffle data, but to learn, reason, remember, understand English, make associations, and exhibit that quality we call “common sense.”

Real Men

Sex and Style In An Uncertain Age

Real Men

“What Rose has drawn out are the candid — sometimes even intemperate — self-revelations of seven men living in what he calls ‘an uncertain age.’ All seven . . . admit to being confused about themselves, unsure of what comes next. Their willingness to share these doubts . . . is what makes these men more real than their predecessors.”

— The Washington Post

THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT BEING MALE. About power and discipline, sex and violence, and the roles they play in the lives of American men today. Think of it as a personal and idiosyncratic survey designed to produce not statistical data but individual answers to the question of what it means to be a man.