The Sum of the People

audio title

The Sum of the People

How the Census Has Shaped Nations, from the Ancient World to the Modern Age

Andrew Whitby

$25.98

  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews

Description

This fascinating three-thousand-year history of the census traces the making of the modern survey and explores its political power in the age of big data and surveillance.

In April 2020, the United States will embark on what has been called "the largest peacetime mobilization in American history": the decennial population census. It is part of a tradition of counting people that goes back at least three millennia and now spans the globe.

In The Sum of the People, data scientist Andrew Whitby traces the remarkable history of the census, from ancient China and the Roman Empire, through revolutionary America and Nazi-occupied Europe, to the steps of the Supreme Court. Marvels of democracy, instruments of exclusion, and, at worst, tools of tyranny and genocide, censuses have always profoundly shaped the societies we've built. Today, as we struggle to resist the creep of mass surveillance, the traditional census -- direct and transparent -- may offer the seeds of an alternative.


Author

Andrew Whitby:
Andrew Whitby is an economist and data scientist with a PhD in econometrics from the University of Oxford. Most recently, he worked in the development data group of the World Bank, where he was coeditor of the Atlas of the Sustainable Development Goals. He lives in Brooklyn.

Info

Reviews