Media praise for Free as in Freedom [Paperback]

"Once again, O'Reilly and Associates brings us another great book devoted to the political nature of technology. A book, that otherwise, might not even get published...I wholeheartedly recommend reading this book."
--E. Jonathan Hardy, TechWeek TV!, May 2003

"A very good book. This book delivers what it promises. If you want to experience the story of 'Richard Stallman's crusade for free software,' get this book. If you are interested in the open source movement, likely you'll want to read this book. It's interesting, challenging, and easy to follow."
--George Woolley, Oakland Perl Mongers, Feb 2003

"I've always liked what GNU was about, but after reading this book I think I have a better understanding of why something like this is necessary and needed. It was well written and a quick read, hats off to Sam Williams."
--Kenneth Wilcox, Boise Software Developers Group, Dec 2002

"A good and important work. I recommend it."
--Joe Barr, LinuxWorld, August 26, 2002

"A wonderful documentary of Richard Stallman--a legend in his own time--and his quest for free software...who knows, if you read this, you may be inspired to join him."--F.H. Wild III, Choice, September 2002

"As the book makes plain, Stallman is an extraordinary figure...Stallman's small puddle may be connected to an ocean"
--Julian Stallabrass, New Left Review, May/June 2002

"The juxtaposition of Stallman's public and private personae is the key to the books appeal. A worthwhile read for its chronicle of an important part of the free software movement as well as into Stallman as a person. His philosophy and work has surely secured him a legacy as a man who has altered the way we look at software."
--Jende Huang, Washington Computer User, Jun 2002

"This biography is a must-read if you are to understand the origin of Linux and free software.", July 2002

"If you're in the software industry, this book is a great read. There is brand new material in the book you are guaranteed not to have read anywhere else, and it's a good summary of one of the software world's most eminent men. Even if you aren't really interested in the politics of software and copyright, it's worth reading just to be able to see the other side of what has been a contentious debate for some time."
--Dave Symonds, Computer Science Undergraduate Society, May 2002

"If you have a passing interest in free software, or even the open source initiative, the subject will definitely hold your interest as you come to understand just what makes Stallman tick.

"Documents Stallman's personal evolution from teenage misfit to prescient adult hacker to political leader and examines how that evolution has shaped the free software movement. Like Alan Greenspan in the financial sector, Richard Stallman has assumed the role of tribal elder within the hacking community, a community that bills itself as anarchic and averse to central leadership or authority. How did this paradox come about? 'Free as in Freedom' provides an answer...After reading this book, you will clearly see why Linux is the Operating System that you should be using and supporting, and that the human being that we have to be truly thankful to for the development of Linux is Richard Stallman. He has given us the power to get our technological freedom back.", June 19, 2002

"The book is a great read for geeks, enlightening us on our heritage...The best thing you can do with this book is to buy 5 extra copies (I'm sure Tim O'Reilly would agree). Don't keep them though...give one to a friend, one to an MBA, one to a lawyer, one to a small business owner, one to a first year college student, one to a get the idea. These are a few of the people that really need to understand what it is that is so important about Free software."

"a mesmerizing biography of one of the most influential people in computer science."
--Ben Rothke,, March 2002

"a nuanced, detailed picture of Stallman that includes much that will be new even to close followers of the free-software movement...Williams uncovers details of Stallman's upbringing?his family life, his adolescence, his Harvard years--that bring fresh insights into the evolving mind-set of one of the most influential programmers in the history of computer software. Covering ground that many have covered before, he still manages to bring out details of Stallman's psychology that are fresh and compelling."
--Andrew Leonard,, April 2, 2002

"Sam Williams' 'Free as in Freedom' captures in substance and form the elegance and precision of Stallman's crusade for Free Software. This is a book that moves with economy through the life of the world's most famous hacker. The love of Chinese food, folk dance, and clever phrases punctuate a quest driven by an unwavering belief that computer code should not be controlled, that innovation requires cooperation...Williams, like Levy, helps explain a world of all-nighters, brilliant code, and new frontiers. Williams provides an interesting glimpse of Richard's early years. His gentle and illuminating description of the relationship between Stallman and his mother contrasts sharply with another famous story of a mother and her child prodigy. Bobby Fischer's mother was filled with rage and a fierce anti-semitism that she passed on to her son. Fischer's career was almost the antithesis of the John Nash character portrayed in 'A Beautiful Mind.' Fischer battled real enemies during the Cold War, when the Russians feared the loss of their chess dominance, but he never earned the same level of regard from his colleagues as Nash would with the receipt of the Nobel Prize. In the end, Fischer's achievement was well established in the chess world, but his life's work lacked the humanism which has so clearly made Stallman a folk hero in the computer world."
--Marc Rotenberg, EPIC, April 2002

"Richard was the first to take up what is now a very important battle. He declared ridiculous the notion that a line of code he had written could be claimed as belonging to someone else who had 'thought of it first.' He was an early, lone voice warning of how the concept of software intellectual property could undermine, rather than support, the programmer. The current crisis over software patents is something Richard foresaw long ago."
-Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium

"Richard has developed a coherent philosophy that has forced all of us to reexamine our ideas of how software is produced, of what intellectual property means, and of what the software community actually represents."
-Ed Schonberg, Professor, Computer Science Department, New York University

"Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put three man-years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product, and distributing it for free?"
-Bill Gates in his "Open Letter to Hobbyists," 1976

"Stallman's ideals will define our future-if we are lucky. His work reminds a culture born in liberty what freedom can once again mean."
-Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School, author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

"[In Richard] I saw, for the first time in my life, the stereotypical longhaired, bearded hacker type. We don't have much of them in Helsinki."
-Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, upon seeing Stallman for the first time in 1990

"A long overdue book on a fascinating person who, by sheer force of character, has changed how the world looks at technology."
-Bob Young, Co-Founder, Red Hat, Inc.