PUP acquires Ruha Benjamin’s Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want

Cyndi Shattuck

PUP acquires Ruha Benjamin’s Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want

Scroll to Article Content

Executive Editor Megan Levinson has acquired World English rights, including audio, to Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want by author, scholar, and activist Ruha Benjamin. Sarah Levitt at Aevitas Creative Management handled the deal.

Part memoir, part manifesto, Viral Justice is born out of the twin plagues of COVID-19 and police violence—a double crisis that has since created a portal for rethinking all that we’ve taken for granted about the social order and life on this planet. We have healthcare policies neglecting the needy, education policies breeding ignorance, labor policies producing disposable people, housing policies building scarcity, environmental policies ensuring our extinction—all by design. Benjamin argues that we can and must design just alternatives.

Weaving together historical context, social science research, and personal narrative, Viral Justice sets forward a micro-theory of change, pushing readers to confront how we individually participate in unjust systems, even when “in theory” we stand for justice. Exploring a range of topics and settings—policing and incarceration; healthcare and scientific research; work and education—Benjamin outlines patterns of inequality we perpetuate by just doing our jobs, clocking in and out, making small talk with our neighbors, avoiding uncomfortable conversations, all while the machinery of our everyday lives hums along.

Without disregarding necessary large-scale changes, Benjamin questions the distinction between top down policies and everyday practices, emphasizing how individuals and groups are disrupting the status quo. Shining light on many different types of justice work, those who stubbornly work for justice and the many ways that people work for justice, Benjamin leaves readers with concrete suggestions for action and change.