EKU Reads Project

The 2014 EKU Reads book selection is Hamlet's Blackberry, by William Powers

EKU Reads Day will be on Thursday, October 16th at 7:30 p.m. We are happy to announce that Mr. Powers will be offering a Keynote Presentation at that time in the Brock Auditorium in the Coates Building.


Hamlet's Blackberry

"A crisp, passionately argued answer to the question that everyone who’s grown dependent on digital devices is asking: Where’s the rest of my life? Hamlet’s BlackBerry challenges the widely held assumption that the more we connect through technology, the better. It’s time to strike a new balance, William Powers argues, and discover why it's also important to disconnect. Part memoir, part intellectual journey, the book draws on the technological past and great thinkers such as Shakespeare and Thoreau. “Connectedness” has been considered from an organizational and economic standpoint—from Here Comes Everybody to Wikinomics—but Powers examines it on a deep interpersonal, psychological, and emotional level."

William Powers-

William Powers was born in Arizona and grew up in Rhode Island. He graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude with a degree in U. S. history and literature, and did graduate study in Spain as a Rotary International Scholar. He began his career as a U.S. Senate staff member working on foreign relations, intelligence and military affairs.

He then joined The Washington Post, working initially for Bob Woodward in the investigative unit. He did reporting and research for The Commanders, Woodward’s international bestseller about the first Gulf War.

As a Post staff writer and columnist in the 1990s, Powers covered business, media, politics, popular culture and ideas. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times and many other publications. He created The New Republic’s first media column, and for ten years wrote an influential column on the intersection of media and politics for National Journal.

He has been featured in dozens of major news outlets, including interviews with Katie Couric, NPR, Good Morning America, the PBS NewsHour, CNBC and the BBC, and coverage in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Wired,andThe Guardian.

Powers has been a speaker at such high-profile venues as South By Southwest, the Aspen Festival of Ideas, Google and Facebook. Reporting on one of his dynamic presentations, The New York Times called him an “apostle” of the next wave of digital thinking.

He is the author of theNew York Times bestseller, Hamlet’s BlackBerry. Widely praised for its insights on the digital future, the book grew out of research he did as a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. It has been selected as the Common Read at a number of colleges and universities, and published in many other countries and languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German and Russian.

Powers is a two-time winner of the National Press Club’s Rowse Award for best American media commentary. He has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and studied the technology culture of Japan on a fellowship from the Japan Society.

He spent 2012 as Director of The Crowdwire, a project analyzing the role of social media in the U. S. presidential race. The Crowdwire was sponsored by and based at Bluefin Labs, a technology company that grew out of the MIT Media Lab and was acquired by Twitter in early 2013.

He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, author Martha Sherrill, and their son.


The EKU Reads program is designed to provide new students with a common introduction to academic life at EKU. Each fall EKU engages in a campus-wide discussion of a book through a variety of first year classes. Freshmen will receive a free copy of the book if it is used in any of their classes.