Harvard Book Store welcomes BOB GARFIELD—cohost of WNYC’s weekly Peabody Award–winning On the Media—for a discussion of his latest book, American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves.
As is often observed, Trump is a symptom of a virus that has been incubating for at least fifty years. But not often observed is where the virus is imbedded: in the psychic core of our identity. In American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves, Bob Garfield examines the tragic confluence of the American preoccupation with identity and the catastrophic disintegration of the mass media. Garfield investigates how we’ve gotten to this moment when our identity is threatened by both the left and the right, when e pluribus unum is no longer a source of national pride, and why, when looking through this lens of identity, the rise of Trumpism is no surprise. Overlaying that crisis is the rise of the Facebook-Google duopoly and the filter-bubble archipelago where identity is tribal and immutable.
A quick, fascinating read, American Manifesto offers not only a vision “of a country in extremis,” but also a plan for how to address the ways in which our democracy is imperiled. American Manifesto is a call to action, unmistakable and provocative.
“In a time when explanations seem to be in short order and solutions virtually extinct, books like Bob Garfield’s American Manifesto are a godsend. Here is a serious, probing work that gets to the heart of why we’re in this political and cultural crisis and, miraculously enough, provides plausible solutions as to how to find our way out. Absolutely necessary reading.” —Jared Yates Sexton, author of The Man They Wanted Me to Be
“In American Manifesto, Bob Garfield bares our national soul, and it’s hellishly dark. We’ve divided ourselves by everything under the sun, eroding the idea of America as the common home of the many. With wit, passion, and insight, Garfield dissects the problem and issues a call to action. He will convince you that it’s time to get out the door.” —Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University and author of How America Lost Its Mind
“Bob Garfield speaks truth not just to power, but to the dangerously disempowered. Unflinchingly direct yet courageously sympathetic, his American Manifesto deconstructs the most infectious media virus of all time. Here is the vaccination that our collective immune system so desperately needs.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and Team Human
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.