As a budding communication scholar, Cass Sunstein’s book Republic.com 2.0 is a book that should be understood by all communication scholars (especially one’s in development). Confession: I do not like reading. Additionally, if I am not previously interested I really do not like reading, but I must say after sitting down and forcing (yes, forcing) myself to read the first couple of chapters I understood the views, concepts, and opinions of Sustein and other cited authors. So, my initial reaction was surprise followed by a bit of enjoyment. The ideas introduced were more commonly understood than place in reference to other activities. For example, looking at polarization, or group conflict, and other areas such as sports or other entertainment – we all know those can get messy.
Is partially from my willingness to play devil’s advocate – simply put I like to prove people wrong – that my favorite part of the book is half way through when Sunstein begins to argue and disprove (or reject) the claims of views from other authors. Two things stood out to me just as they stood out to other readers. He believes that we (more directed towards the American government) should not regulate or even attempt to regulate the Internet. He goes on to further explanation that the Internet is already regulated by Lessig and that our society is built on democracy and regulating the internet, which is strongly correlated with our right of freedom of speech, would contradict the morals our nation was built upon. Sustein, yes, he is the man (#winning – check this out!).
My recommendation for this book would come from my perspective as a scholar. If not a developing communication scholar, I can honestly say they can live without the book. If one has become more interested with communication and the theories and opinions behind it, this book not only clarifies but strengthen my…to read and research a little bit more. The title of the book through me off a bit at first, but now that I have further understanding it is fitting, however, my recommendation would not come from this alone.