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Wolf discusses The End of America

In the Guardian, Naomi Wolf discusses her book, The End of America, and her foray into the world of YouTube to reach the uneducated souls who frequent gas stations and nail salons.

The End of America details the 10 steps that would-be dictators always take in seeking to close an open society; it argued that the Bush administration had been advancing each one. I took the message on the road, and one of those early lectures — at the University of Washington in Seattle, in October 2007 – was videoed by a member of the audience. Even with its bad lighting and funky amateur vibe, this video, posted on YouTube, has been accessed almost 1,250,000 times.

This was a humbling lesson. While a polemical argument in prose may reach tens of thousands of the usual suspects — formally educated people who like to follow such texts — the video version reached far beyond that audience. Everywhere I went, from the gas station to the nail salon, I ran into people who would have been unlikely to read a book of mine, but who were passionately supportive of the argument from having watched it on YouTube.