Martin Gurri’s “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium” (2014 – 1st edition) has just been updated into the Trumpian Age. In my opinion, this is a must-read book for all who explore social media and their role in protest movements.
I read the first edition of the book in 2014th and was impressed by a rich sampling material regarding the connection between social media and social movements around the globe along with good conceptual insights. Here is my review of the first edition: The Revolt of the Public and Media Ecology.
Now the book has obtained its logical development – fake news. The author keeps an eye on it, as it goes exactly within this logic:
1) The first wave of social media proliferation
2) Twitter-revolutions and protests of the progressive digital youth of 2009-2012s
3) Further proliferation of social media
4) The rise of fake news and resentment backlash of 2016; Brexit, Trump.
Martin Gurri is a geopolitical analyst. After many years of working as an analyst of open media in CIA, he left the government and focused on the impact of social media on social activity and protests.
The book offers:
1) A scrupulous analysis of the sequence of protests occurring around 2011 and thereafter, including many interesting facts and observations.
2) A very interesting and thought-provoking explanation of the protests positing a conflict between the newly informed public and the old institutions of authority.
3) Many keen insights shedding light on the changes in media, politics and social interactions.
4) Now it also includes an exploration of “fake news” and “post-truth” via the prism of social media and their impact on social movement and protest activity.
In the words of economist and scholar Arnold Kling, “Martin Gurri saw it coming.” Technology has categorically reversed the information balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the great hierarchical institutions of the industrial age government, political parties, the media. The Revolt of the Public tells the story of how insurgencies, enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere, have mobilized millions of ordinary people around the world.
The updated edition of “The Revolt of the Public” includes an extensive analysis of Donald Trump s improbable rise to the presidency and the electoral triumphs of Brexit and concludes with a speculative look forward, pondering whether the current elite class can bring about a reformation of the democratic process, and whether new organizing principles, adapted to a digital world, can arise out of the present political turbulence.
The book went out in hardcopy and is available on Amazon. Kindle version price is very much affordable – 7.48.