The Bristol Festival of Ideas announced today Dan Hind's The Return of the Public as the winner of its Best Book of Ideas prize, "awarded annually to the book which presents new, important and challenging ideas, and which is engaging, accessible and rigorously argued." The prize was announced as part of the sixth annual festival, which ends on 31 May. The prize, worth £7,500, is awarded in association with Arts & Business.
The Return of the Public beat five other shortlisted titles, which were: Kat Banyard's The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today; Ha-Joon Chang's 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism; Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences; David Shenk's The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You've Been Told About Genes, Talent and Intelligence is Wrong; and Gary Younge's Who Are We - And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?
Andrew Kelly, festival director, said today:
The books submitted this year were of very high quality. It was difficult to select the shortlist and even harder to choose the outright winner, but, as always, it has been an exhilarating experience as well as a challenging one.
Dan Hind has emerged as a worthy successor to Nick Davies (2009) and Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson (2010). The Return of the Public offers both an analysis of and solutions to a crisis we currently face in our ability to engage in truly democratic decision making.
Specifically, Hind articulates the idea of a society that is informed by a news agenda developed by publically commissioned journalists and researchers which breaks free of the twin stranglehold of government spin and self-interested media corporations.
Visit The Return of the Public blog to read more by Dan Hind.
At 5.54 of this BBC footage, an 'anarchist' shows his pass to police and moves through the lines.
We are already seeing the first indications that plain clothes officers were moving between the violent protesters and the police at Saturday's demonstration. The police have infiltrated anarchist and revolutionary communist groups for decades.
As students at the London School of Economics are the latest to go into occupation, Dan Hind, author of The Threat to Reason and The Return of the Public, comments on the significance of the new student movements and the prospects for radical change:
The events of the last few weeks far exceed the student demonstrations in Britain in 1968, in terms of their scale and arguably their significance. The students now have the potential to develop and popularise, in partnership with other groups, a program to tackle Britain's many economic and social problems. Their insistence that education is a