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His Passion Is Free Speech— and That’s the Problem
Journalist-turned-media sociology professor David Demers grew up on a steady diet of social justice. His Lutheran elementary school teachers and college professors taught him the importance of democratic processes, speaking out against injustice, free speech, and the public's "right" to know.
But when he creates a controversial plan to improve his academic unit, helps students publish some controversial stories, and writes some articles critical of powerful institutions, his organizations reprimand or try to fire him, and his journalism colleagues refuse to defend free speech rights. He is not alone.
More than one million professors and K-12 faculty have been fired or reprimanded for things they’ve said on the job. Two-thirds of journalists also say they self-censor stories about their organizations because they fear the wrath of editors or publishers.
Many targets of “workplace mobbing” quit their jobs and spend years in therapy. A few commit suicide. Some, like Demers, fight back with free speech lawsuits. Most lose.
Demers wins, but the victories are bittersweet. If university administrators, journalism faculty and journalists fail to defend basic freedoms, he asks, how can society expect other organizations and citizens to defend them?
Adventures of a Quixotic Professor will make you laugh, cry and scream for justice as it chronicles the personal costs and social and historical conditions of one man’s lifelong fight for social justice — a journey that culminates in a federal appeals court decision [Demers v. Austin (Washington State University)], which, for the first time in history, extends constitutional protection to teachers for on-the-job speech outside of the classroom.
Issues covered in this book: Demers v. Austin, workplace mobbing, bureaucratic bandwagon effect, anti-Enlightenment trends, adverse effect of bureaucracies on democratic processes, political impotence of social scientific research; and 40 tips for navigating bureaucratic politics.
Audiences for this book: (1) faculty and administrators at public universities and K-12 school systems, (2) sociologists and journalism/mass communication professors and their students, (3) journalists, (4) lawyers/legal scholars, (5) free speech advocates and civil libertarian organ-izations, (6) political scientists/historians, (7) librarians, and (8) readers curious about what happens when one individual stands his ground against billion-dollar bureaucracies.
Publication Date: September 4, 2021 (seven years after the Demers v. Austin decision)
Available through Amazon.com and Baker & Taylor, or any national book wholesaler. Other details are available below:
Pages and Format: 444 pages
Finish page size 6 x 9 inches
Hardcover (6.5 x 9.5)
Includes references and index
Permanent (acid-free) paper
Library of Congress Cataloging Number:
ISBN 978-1-7327197-8-9 (Hardcover)
$29.95 U.S. / $36.95 CANADA
Dr. David Demers worked as a newspaper reporter, senior market researcher, and journalism and media sociology professor before embarking on a full-time writing career. He is author of 17 academic and trade books and has won numerous writing, research and free speech awards.
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