Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America
Available at University of Chicago PressView an excerpt at The New York Times
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.
“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.”― Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
“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.”― Phillip Prodger, Yale University
Seeing Silicon Valley was first published in France, as Visages de la Silicon Valley. The French version can be purchased through C&F Editions, Paris