The Boy Who Could Change the World

The Boy Who Could Change the World:The Writings of Aaron Swartz

  • Paperback

A testament to a technical genius and a passionate activist, Aaron Swartz: his essential writings on internet culture, hacktivism and the freedom of information

In January 2013, Aaron Swartz, under arrest and threatened with thirty-five years of imprisonment for downloading material from the JSTOR database, committed suicide. He was twenty-six years old. But in that time he had changed the world we live in: reshaping the Internet, questioning our assumptions about intellectual property, and creating some of the tools we use in our daily online lives.

Besides being a technical genius and a passionate activist, he was also an insightful, compelling, and cutting critic of the politics of the Web. In this collection of his writings that spans over a decade he shows his passion for and in-depth knowledge of intellectual property, copyright, and the architecture of the Internet. The Boy Who Could Change the World contains the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time.


  • He was brilliant and funny. A kid genius … Aaron was not just, or even primarily, a computer geek. His defining feature was a constant struggle for what he believed was right.

    Lawrence Lessig
  • Aaron had an unbeatable combination of political insight, technical skill, and intelligence about people and issues. I think he could have revolutionized American (and worldwide) politics. His legacy may still yet do so.

    Cory Doctorow
  • I always found it genuinely inspiring to watch Swartz exude courage and commitment at such a young age.

    Glenn Greenwald