These remarks might traditionally go in the preface, but I’m happy with current introductory remarks, so we will place them here in an afterword. They fall into three categories:
- Thoughts on the title
- Organization and structure
- Why I wrote the book
About ten years ago, I compiled two sets of essays in volumes called Revolution in the Air and Revolution On the Ground. I thought to call the third volume Revolution Underground, but that did not feel or sound apt. Besides, no one who encounters volume three would be familiar with the first two titles in any case. One does not need to aim for a clever triplet after ten years.
I’ll demur on the question of why this volume took so long. My original plan for this collection included practical guidance to reach goals outlined in the first two books. I declined to pursue it. The plan was not realistic, and even if it were, I was not the person to execute it. Still, I continued to write about revolution and related themes, in anticipation of our current condition, where an unpredictable state of disorder persists. I use to call it a period of turmoil. Now it has arrived, we do not have a good name for it, unless we want to adopt an academic term like pre-revolutionary condition.
In any case, the title communicates more about the book’s actual contents if we reverse the two words: Underground Revolution. In the next post, I want to explain what this title means, in light of common themes in these essays. These themes comprise developments in the American state that started shortly after World War II. Consequences of these changes became apparent only during the long period of political tension and trauma that follows 9/11.