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."
"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
A far-ranging critique of the rise of authoritarianism and white nationalism in the US and the consequences for democracy.
A Disarming History of the Second Amendment
"If . . . anyone at all really wants to 'get to the root causes of gun violence in America,' they will need to start by coming to terms with even a fraction of what Loaded proposes."—Los Angeles Review of Books
"A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary '13th'."—Library Journal, Starred Review