Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Google book co-author Malseed ’97 returns for lecture

Mark Malseed ’97, co-author of the international bestseller The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media and Technology Success of our Time, presents an intriguing look inside the one of the world’s fastest growing and most talked-about companies when he lectures in Sinclair Auditorium at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Malseed’s lecture, which is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Lehigh Libraries, is free and open to the public. Malseed will address how, from search to genetics to space exploration, Google is deliberately disrupting the status quo—and whether that’s for good or evil. Following his lecture, there will be a question-and-answer session and St. Patrick’s Day-themed beverages will be served.

Before the lecture itself, Malseed will sign copies of his book at the Lehigh Bookstore beginning at 2:30 p.m. The Google Story offers an inside look into the creation and growth of a company whose name is a favorite brand and a standard verb (millions of people worldwide Google on home computers, in office cubicles, and even in coffee shops on their laptops) recognized around the world.

Google’s stock is worth more than General Motors’ and Ford’s combined, its staff eats for free in a dining room that used to be run by the Grateful Dead’s former chef, and its employees traverse the firm’s colorful Silicon Valley campus on scooters and inline skates.

Malseed says writing the book along with Washington Post reporter David A. Vise, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered Google and Microsoft for years, was a fantastic experience.

“David and I have worked together before and have a nice chemistry together as a collaborative team,” Malseed says. “And Google, a company that is seemingly in the news every day, was a rich subject to investigate and write about.”

In a few short years, Google has revolutionized access to information about everything for everybody everywhere. In 1998, Moscow-born Sergey Brin and Midwest-born Larry Page dropped out of graduate school at Stanford University to, in their own words, “change the world” through a search engine that would organize every bit of information on the Web for free.

“I think that we do a good job of telling Sergey and Larry’s success story and of taking you inside the minds of these two men and inside the buildings at Googleplex,” Malseed says. “But I also think we break a lot of new ground in writing about the research that the company is doing into the fields of biology and genetics with Dr. Craig Venter, the scientist who mapped the human genome, as well as Google’s current quest to add millions of library books, TV broadcasts, and more to its searchable database.”

The Google book has been a major success, vaulting into the top 10 on Business Week’s bestseller list. The book has been published in 17 other languages. However, having books on the bestseller list is nothing to Malseed.

An architecture major at Lehigh, the Google book is the fourth major book that Malseed has worked on—and the second with Vise. Malseed’s big break came in spring 2001, when a Washington friend alerted him that Vise was looking for a researcher to help with a book about FBI double agent Robert Hanssen. Vise recognized whatever it is that authors instinctively see in a prospective assistant and invited Malseed to come onboard. By December of that year, the book hit the streets and shot up the bestseller list—and set Malseed on an exciting, new career path.

Since then, Malseed has worked as a researcher on two recent best sellers by legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward: Plan of Attack, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes process by which the Bush administration led the country to war in Iraq, and Bush at War, a book that focuses on Bush’s White House and its day-by-day actions in the three months following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

For more information on Malseed’s lecture, please e-mail Helen L. Zuercher or call the Friends of the Lehigh Libraries at (610) 758-3025.

--Bill Doherty

Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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