If you’re a hacker in the free software world, or just interested in that world, you’ll probably like this book as much as I did. Biella Coleman is an anthropologist who did fieldwork in the Debian Project and studied the politics, ethics, and culture of the free software world. In other words, she analyzed us. Who can tell a fish about water? Apparently, an anthropologist can, because the results are enlightening and thought-provoking — as well as just plain enjoyable to read.
Update 2012-12-31: There’s an excellent and thorough review by David Banks up now. He’s obviously very familiar with the academic landscape Coleman works in, and the impact her book should have there, but both the book and that review are accessible to non-academic readers (I am one) as well.
Update 2014-01-06: Concurring Opinions held an online symposium on “Coding Freedom” in the Fall of last year, with posts from Prof. Coleman, Nabiha Syed, Amy Kapczynski, Julie Cohen, Ed Felten, Laura DeNardis, Danielle Citron, James Grimmelmann, Nicklas Lundblad, Steven Bellovin, Frank Pasquale, and myself. Check it out!
You can get the book from Princeton University Press.