Todd Gitlin spoke at The Common Good on June 19, 2012.
About Todd Gitlin:
Todd Gitlin is a writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, who has become a prominent critic of the tactics and rhetoric of the Left as well as the Right. He emphasizes what he sees as the need in American politics to form coalitions between disparate movements,which must compromise ideological purity to gain and sustain power by working together within the two major political parties. He argues that the Republican party has managed to accomplish this with a coalition of what he calls two “major components – the low-tax, love-business, hate-government enthusiasts and the God-save-us moral crusaders” but that the Democratic Party has often been unable to accomplish a pragmatic coalition between its “roughly eight” constituencies.
Mr. Gitlin is the author of fifteen books, including Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street, an e-book from HarperCollins, released on April 10, 2012. Before that, he published the novel Undying and (with Liel Leibovitz), The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election. Other titles include The Bulldozer and the Big Tent: Blind Republicans, Lame Democrats, and the Recovery of American Ideals; The Intellectuals and the Flag; Letters to a Young Activist; Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Inside Prime Time; The Whole World Is Watching; Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author); three novels, Undying, Sacrifice and The Murder of Albert Einstein; and a book of poetry, Busy Being Born. These books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. He also edited Watching Television and Campfires of the Resistance.
You can read the blurbs for The Chosen Peoples and order here.
You can order Undying, published Feb. 8, 2010, here.
He gave three lectures on media, revolutions, and democracy as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo between March 23 and 29. Audio of lecture 2, on the incomprehension and comprehension of revolutions from the French through the Russian and the Egyptian, is here. Audio of lecture 3, on WikiLeaks, Facebook, Twitter, al-Jazeera, and other media in the contemporary revolution, is here and the full video experience is on YouTube, here.
He has contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Wilson Quarterly, Harper’s, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, The American Prospect, The Occupied Wall Street Journal, LA Review of Books, Washington Spectator, et al.), online magazines (tnr.com, prospect.org, openDemocracy.net), and scholarly journals (Theory and Society, Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, et al.). He is on the editorial board of Dissent and a contributing writer to Mother Jones.
He is a regular contributor to the “Brainstorm” blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Book” blog at The New Republic online, and TPMcafe.com.
He has been a columnist at the New York Observer and the San Francisco Examiner. During the 2008 campaign he is wrote a weekly “Sunday Watch” column for Columbia Journalism Review online and the Huffington Post. His poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Yale Review, and The New Republic.
In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes. The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
He holds degrees from Harvard University (mathematics), the University of Michigan (political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (sociology). He was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, he was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press. In 2003-06, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.
He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, he held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been the Bosch Fellow in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin, a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia, and the American University of Cairo.
He lectures frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt). He has appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. He lives in New York City with his wife, Laurel Cook.
See below for a video of Todd Giltin discussing wealth disparities and its impact:
See below for a video of Todd Gitlin in the midst of Occupy Wall Street:
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