Monday, December 29, 2003

Seeds of Change

The Week In Review has an interesting article about change. It mentions a book by Robert Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. Damton writes that the racy, best sellers of this time, which were totally ignored by the elite, stoked the fires of the revolution by portraying the royalty in an unflattering manner. The books helped bring about the revolution or at least, revealed the growing dissatisfaction among the masses with their king. Causality is always tricky to prove.

What signs of change are being ignored by major media and other elites? Can we read Oprah like tea leaves to find the source of the next political and social upheaval? Is there something subversive about her book club?

The article also mentions one of my favorite book, Nicholas Lemann's The Promised Land. Lemann writes that the shift in agricultural methods in the South led to the great black migration to the Northern cities which completely changed American culture and politics. Great read, by the way. The significance of the black migration was also missed by the elite at the time.

What shifts are going on today? What is the mainstream elite missing? The Times looks at some recent developments that could lead to major change, which is totally stupid, since the point of the Damton book was that the seeds for the revolution were missed by the elite.

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