Inspired by the catalytic role pamphlet publishing has played throughout American history, Greg Ruggiero founded the Open Media Series in 1991 as an act of war protest, as well as an act of solidarity with social movements promoting greater freedom, justice, and democracy.
Over the years, Ruggiero has published some of the most outspoken scholars, social justice advocates, artists, and dissidents of our time, including Noam Chomsky, Angela Y. Davis, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Ralph Nader, Alice Walker, Manning Marable, Tanya Reinhart, John Cage, Keith Haring, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Daniel Ellsberg, Michio Kaku, Helen Caldicott, Bill Ayers, Subcomandante Marcos, and the Dalai Lama.
In the spring of 2006, Ruggiero joined the ranks of the City Lights editorial team. The launch of the City Lights Open Media Series marked a new chapter in the publishing of intelligent, inspiring, and potentially radicalizing books. Among the recent and forthcoming titles in the series are A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn; Spying on Democracy by Heidi Boghosian; A New Critical Edition of Frederick Douglass's Narrrative of a Slave by Angela Y. Davis; Dying to Live by Joseph Nevins; Mexico Unconquered by John Gibler; Mumia Abu-Jamal's Writing on the Wall, edited by Johanna Fernandez; Learning to Die in the Anthropocene by Roy Scranton; and Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky. "The heart of a functioning democracy is public engagement, communication, and intelligence," says Ruggiero. "The mission of the series is to increase all three."