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Books by David Demers
Demers ghostwrote the books below for clients who hired him
Click Adventures book image below to download a free PDF
Books by David Demers
For Immediate Release
Workplace Power Stems not from Dominance or Alpha Gene, but from Principles and Honor,
New Book Points Out
PHOENIX, AZ — Enduring personal power in the workplace comes not from dominance or the alpha gene but from morality-driven principles, honor, fortitude, and empowering others, according to a book to be published in 2024.
In 9 Lessons of Power: Why Some People Thrive in the Workplace and Others Don’t, Dr. David Demers, a retired journalism and mass media sociology professor who spent much of his life studying organizational power and structure, argues that many contem-porary books about power in the workplace are just plain wrong.
“This book ... takes issue with some of the popular books on power which contend that, to gain power, you have to manipulate, bully, or deceive people,” Demers writes. “As an individual and a scholar, I concede that fear, deception and abusiveness can help people acquire and maintain power. ... But misleading people or scaring them can backfire, as Hitler, Caligula, Mussolini, Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein discovered. The lesson here is that power based on fear or deception is almost always unstable in the long run.”
In contrast, Demers points out that more than a half century of social scientific research shows that “kindness and empathy are not only more stable bases for power, they are more effective." More than 70 studies have found that competent leaders also tend to be enthusiastic, kind, focused (on shared goals and rules), calm, and empathetic, he adds. Research also shows that empowering others, integrity and fairness are crucial.
“The history of great leaders such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Jesus backs up these studies,” he writes.
Much of the knowledge presented in 9 Lessons comes from science and is meticulously documented in hundreds of endnotes. However, some of the knowledge also comes from Dr. Demers’s personal experiences. He was the plaintiff in two free speech lawsuits, one of which sparked a landmark ruling that protects faculty who question the soundness of administrative policies and actions (Demers v. Austin, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2014). This was the first time a federal appeals court has extended constitutional protection to faculty speech beyond the classroom and scholarship.
“Universities have as many flaws as do other organizations,” Demers says, reflecting on his experiences. “They are bastions of envy, misplaced loyalty, greed, mean people, autocratic decision-making, interpersonal conflict, and an administrative belief that winning is usually more important than doing the right thing.”
Demers offers nine lessons for working Americans, organized under four general headings:
(I) Lessons to Enhance Your Power with Others
1. Principles Fortify and Empower You
2. Empower Others to Empower Your-
(II) Lessons to Prevent You from Losing Power
3. Envy, Loyalty and Greed Trump
4. Don't Gossip or Talk Politics and
(III) Lessons to Protect You from Your Adversaries
5. How to Deal with Bullies and Mean
6. Never Overestimate the Morality of
(IV) Lessons to Protect You from Your Organization
7. Organizations Emphasize Control,
8. The Bigger the Organization, the
Greater the Conflict
9. Organizations Emphasize Winning
9 Lessons of Power is the first personal power book to include a section (IV) on how workers can protect themselves from their organizations, which involves a sociological analysis of power. The vast majority of books on power focus on just the psychology of power.
The book is scheduled for publication in summer 2023.
For Immediate Release
Young Adult Novel Takes Aim at
PHOENIX, AZ — Can a teenage boy and his friends save America from autocracy?
That’s the central question addressed in a controversial new dystopian novel series for young adults that, according to its author, “seeks not only to entertain but to awaken” them to the dangers that (autocratic) ideas pose to democracy.
“The Killing of Bere Baudin portrays life four decades from now, in an America that has replaced democracy with ... an autocratic form of government,” said author David Demers, a mass media sociologist and former newspaper reporter.
“A lot of news stories and commen-taries today lay bare the dangers that (autocracies) pose to democracy, free speech, civil rights and civil liberties. My goal is to show Americans what life would be like if most of these ideas were actually enacted. I chose young people as the target audience for the book, because they are the ones who would be living under these policies.”
The novel begins in the year 2059 — 24 years after the “Second American Civil War.”
Autocrats have seized power and have abolished voting, civil rights and civil liberties. Schools have purged pro-democratic ideas from their curriculums. Protestors are executed, jailed, or forced to live in Partition 3 with the Dregs.
“A dictator called the Giebeter and 27 privately owned corporations control everything, including schools, government, police, and courts,” Demers explained. “Everything is privatized. There is no ‘public’, no voting, no free press, no due process, few environmental protections.”
Yet many citizens embrace autocracy, including 16-year-old Bere Baudin, who aspires to be a wealthy Vorster and live in Partition 1, a domed city with fresh air. His dreams are shattered, though, when one of his teachers gives him an encrypted ziphoid drive to give to his father, who has disappeared.
Police search for Bryce Baudin and arrest Bere and his grandmother. They escape, but Bere becomes distraught after learning that his father and grandmother are both Luminars, an outlawed group seeking to restore democracy. When police falsely charge Bere with murder and arrest his father and “Grammy,” he embarks on a mission to free them and uncover the mystery of the encrypted drive. But first he must convince Mr. Greenstone to help him.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Baudin?”
My heart is pounding so hard I can feel it in the tips of my fingers.
I take a deep breath. “I — I want you to kill me.”
Greenstone stiffens his posture. ... “I’m sorry. ... I’m a stockbroker, not a killer. But I can refer you to a good therapist.” ...
I lean toward Greenstone and whisper in his ear, “‘Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.’ Now will you kill me?” (Excerpted from Chapter 1)
Although The Killing of Bere Baudin is a work of fiction, the notion that the United States or other democracies could embrace autocratic forms of rule is no longer in the exclusive realm of science fiction, Demers said. Freedom House — a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization — has documented a 7 percent decline in democratic processes from January 2017 to January 2021. More than two dozen countries around the world now have stronger protection for democratic processes and freedom than the United States.
“This book is not a prediction of what will come,” Demers writes in a note in the front of his novel, “but a warning of what could happen if Americans fail to defend democratic processes, civil liberties and due process.”
The Killing of Bere Baudin is the first book in the Luminar Papers series and is loosely based on the 1971 Pentagon Papers case, in which the Supreme Court prohibited the Nixon Administration from censoring publication of a secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and southeast Asia.
The novel is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and bookstores. Ingram is distributing the book.
Demers worked as a newspaper reporter, market research analyst, and professor before taking early retirement from Washington State University. He is author or editor of 20 trade and academic books, including Adventures of a Quixotic Professor: How One Man’s Lifelong Passion for Social Justice Bristles Bureaucracies and Sparks a Landmark Free Speech Ruling (2021), which chronicles personal and social history of Demers v. Austin (Ninth Circuit, 2014), a federal lawsuit that forced WSU administrators to stop punishing faculty for on-the-job faculty speech critical of administrators and their policies. Demers can be reached at
For Immediate Release
American Institutions Failing to Advance the Enlightenment Project, New Book Contends
Power and Wealth in America Is Becoming More, not Less, Concentrated
PHOENIX, AZ — America’s political and economic institutions have done very little to expand or advance the economic and political rights and powers of average citizens in the last half century, and this will increase the probability of social unrest and violence, according to a new book written by a social scientist who sued two universities after they violated the free speech rights of faculty.
“Managers and administrators of many American institutions often talk about the importance of freedom of expression, due process, democracy, accountability, objectivity, equality and individualism, as these ideals can be used to justify hierarchical power relationships. But they frequently fail to practice what they preach,” writes David Demers in his social memoir Adventures of a Quixotic Professor: How One Man’s Passion for Social Justice Bristles Bureaucracies and Sparks a Landmark Free Speech Ruling.
“The failure of the courts, government, universities and journalism organizations to more aggressively promote the Enlightenment means the American dream is turning into the American nightmare. Our institutions have lost their way.”
The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason, introduced democratic reforms, reason, science, equality, free speech and civil liberties to America and other countries during the 18th and 19th centuries. America’s founding fathers drew heavily on the writings of John Locke, Voltaire and other Enlightenment philosophers when crafting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Demers acknowledges that America has progressed in terms of transferring more social power to women, people with alternative lifestyles and racial minorities.
But “the poor and working and middle classes have seen virtually no gains in terms of political power and economic wealth. In fact, social scientific research shows that economic power is more highly concentrated in corporations and the wealthy today than at any time in American history. ... And legislators in many conservative states are moving to restrict, rather than expand, voting rights for average citizens.
“But even with universal access to voting, ordinary citizens would continue to have relatively little power,” Demers points out. “Political leaders actually hold the power, and scientific research shows that they act largely on behalf of their corporate and wealthy campaign contributors and often enact policies and laws that contradict the will of the people, including those pertaining to gun control, health care, and minimum wage.”
“The original dream of America was to decentralize economic and political power, not to concentrate it into the hands of wealthy elites and politicians. It’s time for these institutions to step up their game. America needs Enlighten-ment now, not a century from now.”
He warns that “failing to take action will increase the probability of social unrest and possibly violence.”
To support these propositions and arguments, Demers cites social scientific research as well as his own lifelong personal experiences as a newspaper reporter and college professor. His book is filled with examples of journalism organizations violating codes of ethics, of police denying the public access to public records, of courts carving out special legal protections for police and government agencies, of university administrators violating free speech rights of faculty, and of bureaucracies turning workers into sycophants.
Demers argues that conservatism represents the biggest threat to the Enlightenment project. Civil liberties activists need to draw attention to the fact, which is absent in conservative ideological debates, that private businesses and corporations have as much or even more potential as big government to do harm to liberty and freedom. “A so-called free market does not necessarily produce a freer people.”
In addition, he argues that high schools and colleges need to emphasize the Enlightenment in their curriculums. The power of referenda also needs to be extended to the national level, so all voters can have a say in matters of public concern, not just politicians. And, he proposes, the House of Representatives needs to be replaced with House of the People, an organizational form that would allow voters themselves, rather than representatives, to vote directly on all legislation and administrative actions.
Demers worked as a journalist, market researcher and journalism and media sociology professor for four decades. He was the plaintiff in Demers v. Austin, a landmark Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case that extended First Amendment protection to teachers and professors for speech outside of the classroom and scholarship. Prior to this, faculty could be punished for criticizing administrators' and their policies.
Demers can be reached at