Cover Image: The Quiet Before

The Quiet Before

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Quiet Before by Gal Beckerman is a compelling argument for creating space for ideas to develop and grow, especially in today's world of instant reaction and often overreaction. This book is less about slow versus fast than it is about developed versus underdeveloped.

Through recreating the groundswell in several historical movements Beckerman shows the value and importance of having a way for ideas to be debated, modified, and shared. Ideas, even the best, are rarely if ever formed in a complete and nuanced manner immediately. It takes input from others, the application of other perspectives, and an understanding of what might make change possible. These can't be done in an openly public forum, particularly when the preferred form of communication is short and hyperbolic. It takes a safe place and form for opinions and ideas to be expressed freely. That is what is missing for many more recent movements which tend to peak quickly and then subside, with little actual long-term change.

This book makes its goal pretty clear in the introduction and stays focused throughout. If a reader loses focus I'd say it has to do with their ability to stay focused rather than the book, or maybe being a passive reader with a short memory span. Either way, the book argues for and offers ideas for creating the space for the thought and debates necessary for movements to succeed and uses the historical examples to illustrate that without that space the movements would either never come to be or would quickly fail. Pretty straightforward purpose and approach.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in how to make change. While the examples and the larger purpose is societal, the basic idea of formulating a better theoretical foundation through debate and discussion holds true for small "movements" one might want to generate in their communities or workplaces.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?