The Ghost

In 1993, a small hi-tech company carried out an ambitious, if rather unconventional, communications experiment, taking a pioneering journey into a mythical virtual space where, two decades later, we would spend most of our waking hours. Digithurst was founded at the height of Britain’s microcomputer boom, when Sinclair and Acorn were household names and Cambridge was merely phenomenal rather than a phenomenon. Shaped by a personal quest and the paranoia that gripped the East European diaspora at the end of the cold war, the company grew out of a back bedroom and built the first video in windows hardware, computer systems to sell German women new hairstyles and French men French letters, and created Britain’s first online newspaper. The book describes how the Internet destroyed the EU’s plan for its own pan-European network, side-lined its media and telecoms industry, and created a social media which has become as corrosive as it is compelling