Kroc School Professor Choi-Fitzpatrick Offers Free, 'Open Access' Version of His Latest Book, 'The Good Drone'

begin quoteI wrote this book for everyone, and I'm excited that we're at a point technologically where more knowledge is available to more people than ever before.

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor at USD’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, recently published a book entitled "The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance" (2020 MIT Press). The book analyzes the ways small-scale drones — as well as satellites, kites and balloons — have been adopted by scientists, advocacy groups and journalists to help advance knowledge, shape public opinion and reframe debates.

Upon its release on July 28, it was available for purchase through online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but Choi-Fitzpatrick had always planned for the book to reach as broad of an audience as possible.

As of September 5, that plan became a reality. You can now visit the book’s dedicated page on MIT Press’s website and read the book in its entirety or download any of the individual chapters – at no cost.

“What else are universities for,” Choi-Fitzpatrick said recently, “if not the creation and spread of knowledge? And who is it for? For everyone! I wrote this book for everyone, and I’m excited that we’re at a point technologically where more knowledge is available to more people than ever before.” 

Indeed, Choi-Fitzpatrick’s approach to composing “The Good Drone” has been “open access”. That has included such unconventional measures as making all of his data publicly available and soliciting editorial feedback from anyone who cared to comment – a far different process than typical academic reviews which are generally confined to an immediate peer group of subject matter experts.

“It’s important we keep intact the academic peer-review process—but I want to push academics to also consider the public we have the honor of serving, and who, in lots of cases, are the ones paying our salaries.”

The free version of his book was underwritten by the University of San Diego in an initiative spearheaded by USD Provost Gail Baker, PhD.

To read The Good Drone for free, visit:


Justin Prugh
(619) 260-7573