C. Wright Mills was a radical public intellectual, a tough-talking, motorcycle-riding anarchist from Texas who taught sociology at Columbia University. Mills's three most influential books--The Power Elite, White Collar, and The Sociological Imagination--were originally published by OUP and are considered classics. The first collection of his writings to be published since 1963, The Politics of Truth contains 23 out-of-print and hard-to-find writings which show his growth from academic sociologist to an intellectual maestro in command of a mature style, a dissenter who sought to inspire the public to oppose the drift toward permanent war. Given the political deceptions of recent years, Mills's truth-telling is more relevant than ever. Seminal papers including "Letter to the New Left" appear alongside lesser known meditations such as "Are We Losing Our Sense of Belonging?" John Summers provides fresh insights in his introduction, which gives an overview of Mills's life and career. Summers has also written annotations that establish each piece's context and has drawn up a comprehensive bibliography of Mills's published and unpublished writings.
The Frankfurt School philosopher Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979) studied with Martin Heidegger at Freiburg University from 1928 to 1932 and completed a dissertation on Hegel’s theory of historicity under Heidegger’s supervision. During these years, Marcuse wrote a number of provocative philosophical essays experimenting with the possibilities of Heideggerian Marxism. For a time he believed that Heidegger’s ideas could revitalize Marxism, providing a dimension of experiential concreteness that was sorely lacking in the German Idealist tradition. Ultimately, two events deterred Marcuse from completing this program: the 1932 publication of Marx’s early economic and philosophical manuscripts, and Heidegger’s conversion to Nazism a year later. Heideggerian Marxism offers rich and fascinating testimony concerning the first attempt to fuse Marxism and existentialism. These essays offer invaluable insight concerning Marcuse’s early philosophical evolution. They document one of the century’s most important Marxist philosophers attempting to respond to the “crisis of Marxism”: the failure of the European revolution coupled with the growing repression in the USSR. In response, Marcuse contrived an imaginative and original theoretical synthesis: “existential Marxism.”
In the uprisings of the Arab world, Alain Badiou discerns echoes of the European revolutions of 1848. In both cases, the object was to overthrow despotic regimes maintained by the great powers—regimes designed to impose the will of financial oligarchies. Both events occurred after what was commonly thought to be the end of a revolutionary epoch: in 1815, the final defeat of Napoleon; and in 1989, the fall of the Soviet Union. But the revolutions of 1848 proclaimed for a century and a half the return of revolutionary thought and action. Likewise, the uprisings underway today herald a worldwide resurgence in the liberating force of the masses—despite the attempts of the ‘international community’ to neutralize its power.
Badiou’s book salutes this reawakening of history, weaving examples from the Arab Spring and elsewhere into a global analysis of the return of emancipatory universalism.
This is an important and unparalleled work which situated Marx's economic theory in relation to the economic theories that pre-date him - from mercantilism to John Stuart Mill. First published in 1929, the book dates from the fertile period of Marxist economic theory that produced the works of Preobrazhensky, Kondratiev and Bukharin. However as a review of pre-Marxist economics it stands out from the many books which dwell only on the contemporary industrialisation debates. This is a selective reading of economic thought, offering analysis of those elements in past economics that accord with the areas of interest to Marxism. Each section gives a brief analysis of a specific school of thought, with particular attention to the social and ideological climate within which it evolved. The book differs from orthodox accounts in not merely mentioning historical background but using it as a central explanation of the evolution of economic theories. As a counterpoint to Rubin, Catherine Colliot-Thelene has written a daring essay which locates a crucial flaw in the logical structure of Marx's Capital.
“The only thing of which one can be guilty of is having given ground relative to one’s desire.”—Jacques Lacan The How to Read series provides a context and an explanation that will facilitate and enrich your understanding of texts vital to the canon. These books use excerpts from the major texts to explain essential topics, such as Jacques Lacan's core ideas about enjoyment, which re-created our concept of psychoanalysis. Lacan’s motto of the ethics of psychoanalysis involves a profound paradox. Traditionally, psychoanalysis was expected to allow the patient to overcome the obstacles which prevented access to "normal" sexual enjoyment; today, however, we are bombarded by different versions of the injunction "Enjoy!" Psychoanalysis is the only discourse in which you are allowed not to enjoy. Slavoj Žižek’s passionate defense of Lacan reasserts Lacan’s ethical urgency. For Lacan, psychoanalysis is a procedure of reading and each chapter reads a passage from Lacan as a tool to interpret another text from philosophy, art or popular ideology.
In an unstable Middle East, beset by regional tensions and repercussions of the global war on terror, Syria is a key player. The bloodless coup by General Hafez al-Assad, in 1970, put in place a powerful autocratic machinery at the core of the state which continues till today under the control of his son Bashar. Here Radwan Ziadeh presents a fresh and penetrating analysis of Syria’s political structure -- a "despotic" state monopoly, a bureaucratic climate marked by fear, and the administrative structure through which centralized control is exercised. With a focus on Syria’s intelligence services which have significant influence in legal and policy decisions, and the conditions and patterns of foreign policy decision-making, particularly vis-à-vis the US, Power and Policy in Syria is essential reading for all those interested in Syria, the modern Middle East, International Relations and Security Studies.
Hesham Al-Awadi argues that the growing impact of the Muslim Brotherhood on Egyptian politics and society is part of the movement's struggle to gain official legitimacy since its ban in 1954. The movement's remarkable presence in syndicates, student unions, investment companies and parliament was the outcome of its highly organized structure, consolidated during the earlier years of President Mubarak. Although the Brotherhood failed to secure the recognition of the state, they did secure a degree of informal legitimacy, based on their services to middle class beneficiaries. This "social" legitimacy was soon employed politically against the regime as Mubarak, haunted by the sudden rise of Islamists in Algeria and his failure to legitimate his leadership, was impelled to revoke his policies in the nineties.
An American Empire, constructed over the last century, long ago overtook European colonialism, and it has been widely assumed that the new globalism it espoused took us "beyond geography." Neil Smith debunks that assumption, offering an incisive argument that American globalism had a distinct geography and was pieced together as part of a powerful geographical vision. The power of geography did not die with the twilight of European colonialism, but it did change fundamentally. That the inauguration of the American Century brought a loss of public geographical sensibility in the United States was itself a political symptom of the emerging empire. This book provides a vital geographical-historical context for understanding the power and limits of contemporary globalization, which can now be seen as representing the third of three distinct historical moments of U.S. global ambition.The story unfolds through a decisive account of the career of Isaiah Bowman (1878-1950), the most famous American geographer of the twentieth century. For nearly four decades Bowman operated around the vortex of state power, working to bring an American order to the global landscape. An explorer on the famous Machu Picchu expedition of 1911 who came to be known first as "Woodrow Wilson's geographer," and later as Frankin D. Roosevelt's, Bowman was present at the creation of U.S. liberal foreign policy. A quarter-century later, Bowman was at the center of Roosevelt's State Department, concerned with the disposition of Germany and heightened U.S. access to European colonies; he was described by Dean Acheson as a key "architect of the United Nations." In that period he was a leader in American science, served as president of Johns Hopkins University, and became an early and vociferous cold warrior. A complicated, contradictory, and at times controversial figure who was very much in the public eye, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Bowman's career as a geographer in an era when the value of geography was deeply questioned provides a unique window into the contradictory uses of geographical knowledge in the construction of the American Empire. Smith's historical excavation reveals, in broad strokes yet with lively detail, that today's American-inspired globalization springs not from the 1980s but from two earlier moments in 1919 and 1945, both of which ended in failure. By recharting the geography of this history, Smith brings the politics--and the limits--of contemporary globalization sharply into focus.