For the last two centuries, people whose concerns and interests lay outside the accepted political boundaries of the day have organized social movements as the principal vehicle for advancing their cause. Their journals have been their most important tool and have been applied to almost every task these movements undertook. The history of social movements and the history of their press are often nearly inseparable, and historians frequently peg the birth of a social movement to the founding of the movement’s first journal. It is therefore surprising that the history of the social movement press has been studied so little. I suspect this is largely due to the fact that when judged by the standards typically used to assess the importance of mainstream publications—total circulation, advertising revenue, length of book, longevity, “professionalism,” “objectivity,” and “lack of bias”—social movement publications appear to have been of negligible importance. Yet even the most cursory review of the social movement press reveals the mistake of judging it by these standards.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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