The movie The Social Network chronicles the meteoric rise of Mark Zuckerberg. The story starts seven years ago in a Harvard dormitory where — according to whom you believe — Mark Zuckerberg either created or stole the idea for Facebook.
Today, Facebook has more than 500 million global users, and Zuckerberg was recently named the youngest richest person in the world. But the portrait the movie paints of Zuckerberg isn't very flattering, and neither is the one of Harvard.
The movie sets up a basic dichotomy. On one side is the old boys' club of the Harvard elite. On the other, the socially inept, wildly ambitious, techno-savant Mark Zuckerberg.
The story is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, and it's not the first time Mezrich has woven a blockbuster tale of Cambridge-educated brains and stacks of money. He's also the author of Bringing Down the House about a group of MIT students who use their smarts to milk millions from casino blackjack tables. That story was made into the film 21.
We talk with Ben Mezrich about the movie, his book and the portrayal of Cambridge's elite institutions.
- Ben Mezrich, author, The Accidental Billionaires
This program aired on October 8, 2010.