John Kenneth Galbraith was, unfortunately, correct when he observed that ‘circumstance forces the action that theory deplores’. The “theory” of the past several decades imagined the great mass of people as consumers and spectators, not citizens and activists. Private-sector elites, unchecked and unbalanced, created a circumstance of economic, social and environmental crisis so severe that, finally, we are ready to renew the public sphere. Dan Hind is in the forefront of the initiative, providing us with the strategies we will need to reinvigorate the public debate and, in so doing, re-empower the people. Go to Mapquest and ask for directions to the next and better society; the response will be Dan Hind’s The Return of the Public.
John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation
As the official culture of politics limps from scandal to corruption, Hind turns to the only thing that can save democracy: the people … Dan Hind has produced one of those rare books that transcend the world of ‘discourse’ and become essential levers of historical change.
Professor David Miller, co-author of A Century of Spin and professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde
That democracy and self-government are in peril is widely acknowledged. Dan Hind has written a brilliant, provocative and sweeping assessment of our current predicament. Best of all he offers credible and effective proposals to truly democratize our societies. This is a book that deserves widespread attention and debate.
Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy and professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
If there is a future to look forward to, it will come from the invigorated public domain pictured by Dan Hind. In the face of unprecedented economic and environmental challenges, this lucid, hopeful book describes the deep shift we must make from being passive consumers of goods, services and orthodox thinking, to active producers of what we need to survive and flourish. Hind shows us how to break free of both the centralized state and the centralized market. This is a handbook for a very modern liberation struggle. Buy it and help set yourself free.
Andrew Simms, author of Tescopoly and Policy Director at the New Economics Foundation