Breaking Twitter: Elon Musk and the Most Controversial Corporate Takeover in History

Grand Central. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781538707593. $30. BUS
Mezrich (The Antisocial Network), who writes best-selling creative nonfiction and standalone novels, focuses on Elon Musk’s Twitter (aka X) takeover in his latest. The book takes readers from a January 15, 2020, offsite meeting between 4,000 Twitter employees and CEO Jack Dorsey, to April 20, 2023, when one of Musk’s spaceships exploded upon takeoff. Mezrich probes Twitter’s role in this heightened era of social media and the changes Musk has made to it already or continues to pursue. He asserts that Musk values Twitter as an open public square with little to no moderation and believes that he should no longer rely upon advertisers who don’t support the kind of free speech he advocates for on the platform; Musk wants revenue to come from subscribers instead. Mezrich utilizes primary sources—interviews, emails, and even tweets—but some of the scenes and comments from Musk’s perspective are partially based upon the author’s own speculation. Mezrich says he also “reimagined” some dialogue, “adjusted or compressed” the dates of some incidents, and renamed some people or created composite characters to protect, at their request, the privacy of some sources.
VERDICT Not a pure history, but its novelistic style may draw a popular audience.
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