Obituary Note: Benjamin R. Barber

Benjamin R. Barber, a political theorist whose 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World "presciently analyzed the socioeconomic forces leading to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and a surge in tribalism around the world," died April 24, the New York Times reported. He was 77. His latest book, Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming, was published recently by Yale University Press.

In works like Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age and The Conquest of Politics: Liberal Philosophy in Democratic Times, Barber "outlined the ways that ordinary citizens might assume a more powerful role in shaping their lives through local, communal institutions--a network of 'public spaces' encouraging interconnectedness and citizen involvement in politics," the Times noted.

Barber also served as an informal adviser to President Bill Clinton, an experience he wrote about in The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House. His other books include Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole; Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy; and If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.

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