Collection : City Lights Open Media, City Lights Publishers

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."


Greg Ruggiero
See a bio for Greg Ruggiero, founder of the Open Media series
"An operation out to change the world" – Evelyn Nieves, The New York Times

"Like Tom Paine or Martin Luther, the Open Pamphlet Series desperately wants to create democratic debate by providing timely snippets of information and analysis that the empire would just as soon suppress. They're a quick read, and in a time of intellectual as well as political crisis, they put serious information into the hands and minds of a needy public… 'Public intelligence is power,' says Ruggiero, and he's determined to disseminate both." – James Ledbetter, The Village Voice

Top Editor to City Lights | Publishers Weekly
by Bridget Kinsella

"Peace on the Page" | The Boston Phoenix
by Christopher Dreher

"The Accidental Bestseller" | Publishers Weekly
by Christopher Dreher

"Indie Presses to Rush Out Cindy Sheehan Titles" | Publishers Weekly
by Bridget Kinsella


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Breaking Through Power
It's Easier Than We Think
Ralph Nader
A Thomas Paine-style indictment of how wealthy corporations control politics and how average Americans, through democracy, can fight back and win.

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Under the Affluence
Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America
Tim Wise
A scalding indictment of how the wealthy influence the national economy, politics, and media to disadvantage those already less fortunate.

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Because We Say So
Noam Chomsky
Concise, forceful commentaries on US politics and global crises, from cyberwar and surveillance to the increasing urgency of climate change.

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To Protect and Serve Who?
Organizing a Movement to Abolish Police Violence
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Direct from City Lights: An essay-pamphlet by Mumia Abu-Jamal on ending police violence, a companion to the book Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writing of Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Disposable Futures
The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle
Brad Evans, Henry A. Giroux
A dazzling exploration of the seduction of violence and spectacle in politics, culture, entertainment and everyday life.

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Writing on the Wall
Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Johanna Fernández
New Release: Mumia Abu-Jamal's essential perspectives on black experience, race relations, freedom, justice, social change, and the future of American society. With a foreword by Cornel West.

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Border Patrol Nation
Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security
Todd Miller
Fast-paced frontline reporting and analysis on the militaristic spread of the U.S. Border Patrol. "What Jeremy Scahill was to Blackwater, Todd Miller is to the U.S. Border Patrol!"--Tom Miller, author, On the Border

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Spying on Democracy
Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance
Heidi Boghosian
"Everyone of us is under the omniscent magnifying glass of the government and corporate spies. How do we respond to this smog of surveillance? Start by reading Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance by Heidi Boghosian."—Bill Moyers

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The Meaning of Freedom
And Other Difficult Dialogues
Angela Y. Davis
Angela Davis' first book in nearly a decade, and her only book of speeches on racism, community, freedom, and politics in the United States.

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Occupy the Economy
Challenging Capitalism
David Barsamian, Richard Wolff
From prominent economist Richard Wolff and David Barsamian, a hot-button primer on the taboo subject impacting most Americans today: the failure of capitalism to deliver public good.

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