A free PDF of this book will be available at this website in fall 2015.
The True Story of One Man Whose Passion for Liberty and Democracy Enrages Bureaucrats and Sparks One of the Most Important Academic Free-Speech Legal Cases in the 21st Century
"Scholar, professor, author, former newspaper reporter, maverick, and an advocate of First Amendment rights David Demers has written a thought-provoking work ... . I very much enjoyed reading this book and was particularly interested in the author’s description of his fighting for what he believes in despite the obstacles. I found the discussion of his years in academia especially fascinating. ... a highly readable and thought-provoking book."–Lucy Heckman, St. John’s University Library, Jamaica, NY
"[Sociologist] C. Wright Mills defined sociology as the study of intersections between biography and history. By Mills’s definition, this book is sociology par excellence. It is an exemplar of sociological method. By tracing and reflecting on his personal initiatives and activities in the twilight decades of the twentieth century, Demers powerfully illuminates the direction of American society. On the other hand, The Lonely Activist doesn’t quite fit the bill of sociology. The prose is too smooth, engaging, and jargon-free. Better to call it social commentary or first-rate journalism. Whatever it is, read it and learn."–Dr. Kenneth Westhues, professor emeritus of sociology, University of Waterloo, Canada, and expert on workplace mobbing
"I loved every minute of this piece and was fully engaged with it. I found it beautifully written and very interesting. One thing I really like about this is that it deals with what could be difficult issues for average readers — philosophy, law, rights, history — but it is very understandable. I think a person with no or limited background could enter the work well and understand what [the author was] talking about. I never felt like [he was] writing over the reader’s head."–Carolyn Walker, Writer’s Digest
"With an approachable and easy style, Dr. Demers uses his life as a means to examine the history of the various sociological theories and trends that have shaped our culture to this day. These are supported by extensive research. Among the many ways Demers tried to reach out beyond ‘the ivory tower’ and make a difference in the world was by supporting his students in overcoming obstacles in having their stories published."–Nancy Barthelemy, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA
"This book is ... incredibly well researched and a very interesting, relevant story. It was thought-provoking and an unexpected story. My background is in the social sciences (political science) and I was both shocked and completely identified with the author’s story. Demers has a great voice and manages to tell his narrative without sounding holier-than-thou or just someone with a grudge match."–Amada Scott, Librarian, Cambridge Springs Public Library, PA
This book is "part biographical study of his own fight for his First Amendment rights while working as a college professor and part background of social science and its application. ... it was very interesting. Mostly I was reminded of the study that says the more people witnessing a crime, the less likely someone will help. For instance if a woman is being mugged on the street and there is one man witnessing it, it is far more likely that he will try to help her than if a group of people are passing by. .. This book is the story of a man who comes to help the woman before she knows she’s in trouble."–Princess of the Library http://princessofthelibrary.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/the-ivory-tower-of-babel
"The author writes in an easy-to-understand style that makes it very readable."– Ken Neubeck, Patchogue, NY
This book "questions what role academics plays in the social world to help ‘solve’ societal problems. His passionate commitment to being a proponent of change emanates off every page as well as his zest for upholding First Amendment issues. ... Demers fuses so much of his own life experiences into the reading that one becomes caught up in his academic memoir and learns much more than anticipated because of how Demers explains everything with such detail and explication. Well worth reading for those interesting in journalism, mass communication, and academia. ... The greatest strength of the book is the passion and questioning Demers has. I believe that this is an important and relevant look into academic institutions and the responsibilities they have in their immediate environments and larger communities as well."–Anne M. Miskewitch, Librarian, Literature and World Language Department, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, IL
A must-read for university administrators, journalists, and professors and students in the social sciences and humanities
David Demers is a mass media sociologist and author of a dozen books. He worked as a journalist, market researcher and professor for four decades. He promotes civil liberties through the not-for-profit American Center for Civil Liberties (www.acfcl.org).
The Lonely Activist contains four volumes -- (1) "Anatomy of an Activist"; (2) "The Ivory Tower of Babel"; and (3) "Fire in the Palouse"; and (4) "Secret Audits and Free-Speech Villains" -- an "Epilogue" and indices