Seeing Silicon Valley

Life inside a Fraying America

Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner

Seeing Silicon Valley

Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner

Photographs and Stories by Mary Beth Meehan and Essay by Fred Turner
112 pages | 67 color plates | 10 x 7 | © 2021
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226786483 Will Publish April 2021
Acclaimed American photographer Mary Beth Meehan and Silicon Valley culture expert Fred Turner join forces to give us an unseen view of the heart of the tech world

It’s hard to imagine a place more central to American mythology today than Silicon Valley. To outsiders, the region glitters with the promise of extraordinary wealth and innovation. But behind this image lies another Silicon Valley, one segregated by race, class, and nationality in complex and contradictory ways. Its beautiful landscape lies atop underground streams of pollutants left behind by decades of technological innovation, and while its billionaires live in compounds, surrounded by redwood trees and security fences, its service workers live in their cars.

With arresting photography and intimate stories, Seeing Silicon Valley makes this hidden world visible. Instead of young entrepreneurs striving for efficiency in minimalist corporate campuses, we see portraits of struggle—families displaced by an impossible real estate market, workers striving for a living wage, and communities harmed by environmental degradation. If the fate of Silicon Valley is the fate of America—as so many of its boosters claim—then this book gives us an unvarnished look into the future.
Review Quotes
Le Monde
“It is a Silicon Valley rarely described and never shown that photographer Mary Beth Meehan sought to document. . . . Without descending into pathos, she reveals the striking contrasts between the world of start-ups and that in which their employees live. . . . But underneath, Meehan also depicts another, more subtle dissonance—between the way Silicon Valley sees itself, and the way it really is.”
Margaret O'Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
"For more than seven decades, business leaders, politicians, and would-be entrepreneurs have tried to unravel the secrets of Silicon Valley. In just over one hundred powerful, haunting pages, Meehan and Turner have captured a side of the valley rarely seen: the deeply inequitable landscape of contingent and disproportionately foreign-born labor that makes its high-tech magic possible. Humane, insightful, and deeply compelling, this book tells the story of Silicon Valley in a completely new and utterly magnetic way."
Phillip Prodger, Yale University
"Meehan’s photographs provide a compelling cross section of peoples and places in the valley, featuring hidden and untold stories. The photographs are excellent, the selection is clever and balanced, and the accompanying texts are well written and engaging."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Blog: Sociology

Events in Sociology

Keep Informed

JOURNALs