“This book could not be more timely. As progressives celebrate the return of confidence in ‘big government,’ expertise, regulation, and science, they must not forget the lessons of the 1960s and 1970s. Paul Sabin powerfully demonstrates that the liberal postwar order was not only undercut by the rise of the right, but also by an activist left that for good reason decried government’s deafness to citizens’ needs and participation. How best to serve the public interest is the greatest challenge of our time, and we could have no better guide through the historical thicket than Sabin.”

Lizabeth Cohen, author of Saving America’s Cities

In the 1960s and 1970s, an insurgent attack on traditional liberalism took shape in America, built on new ideals of citizen advocacy and the public interest.

Public Citizens traces the history of this public interest movement and explores its tangled legacy, showing the ways in which American liberalism has been at war with itself. The book forces us to reckon with the challenges of regaining our faith in government’s ability to advance the common good.

Read More About Public Citizens

U.S. Steel Corporation plant on the Monongahela River in 1973. (EPA)Sunbathers at Huntington Beach, and an oil platform offshore, May 1975 (Environmental Protection Agency)Pumps closed on Interstate 5 in Oregon (Environmental Protection Agency)
U.S. Steel Corporation plant on the Monongahela River in 1973. (EPA)
Sunbathers at Huntington Beach, and an oil platform offshore, May 1975 (Environmental Protection Agency)
Pumps closed on Interstate 5 in Oregon (Environmental Protection Agency)

Latest Updates

Teaching the Energy Transition

Moderated panel examining how teachers bring history to bear on ongoing and future energy transitions. Introduced Energy History Online, a free new educational website serving teachers and students of United States and global energy history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Thinking Historically about the Future of Energy and Climate”

Spoke at UT Austin’s Institute for Historical Studies on lessons learned from the history of energy and climate, including how our historical understanding has changed in the past decade.

“Thinking Historically about the Future of Energy and Climate”

Terrific discussion about the past and future of energy with Matt Jacobson in the “Democracy in America” Series.