Books for Burning
Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy
Long before Antonio Negri became famous around the world for his groundbreaking volume Empire, he was infamous across Europe for the incendiary writings contained in this book. Books for Burning consists of five pamphlets that Negri wrote between 1971 and 1977, which attempt to identify and draw lessons from new conditions of class struggle that emerged in the course of the 1970s.
Conceived as organizational hypotheses intended for debate among the members of the political movements Workers’ Power (Potere operaio) and Organized Autonomy (Autonomia organizzata), these texts were later misread and misrepresented by the Italian state in its attempt to frame Negri as responsible for the assassination of former Italian president Aldo Moro, as the leader of the Red Brigades, and as the mastermind of an armed insurrection against the state. In the more than twenty-five years since their first publication, these texts have lost none of their originality,...Read more about: Books for Burning »
An Anarchist Therapy
50-minute documentary DVD ROM, produced by Nick Cooper
With difficulty walking, and half-blinded from torture by the Brazilian military dictatorship, 79 year-old Roberto Freire continues to develop somatherapy, completing his life’s work. Incorporating the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, the politics of anarchism, and the culture of capoeira angola, Soma is used by therapists organized in anarchist collectives to fight the psychological effects of authoritarianism. Nick Cooper travelled to Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Bahia, and São Paulo to find the exercises, principles, voices, and movement of somatherapy.
A Review from Slingshot:
In 1964, the military in Brazil carried out a coup d’etat supported by the CIA and local right-wing groups, inaugurating a bloody dictatorship. It was during the dictatorship that a clandestine anarchist activist named Roberto Freire, who also was a psychoanalyst, (anti)psychiatrist and author of books and plays, confirmed the destructive effects of repression on people’s behavior and psychological and mental health....Read more about: Soma »
Thinking Past Terror
Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left
Renowned critical theorist Susan Buck-Morss argues convincingly that a global public needs to think past the twin insanities of terrorism and counter-terrorism in order to dismantle regressive intellectual barriers. Surveying the widespread literature on the relationship of Islam to modernity, she reveals that there is surprising overlap where scholars commonly and simplistically see antithesis. Thinking Past Terror situates this engagement with the study of Islam among critical contemporary discourses—feminism, post-colonialism and the critique of determinism.
Reminding us powerfully that domination and consensus are maintained not by the lack of opposing ideas but by the disorganization of dissent, Thinking Past Terror presents the empowering idea of a global counter-culture as a very real possibility. If the language of a global, radically cosmopolitan Left is not presumed but its attainment struggled for, if the Leftist project is itself this struggle, then democracy defines its very core....Read more about: Thinking Past Terror »
French Constructions of the Past
Postwar French Thought, Volume 1
Edited by Jacques Revel and Lynn Hunt... Read more about: Histories »
The period from 1945 to the present has been one of the most intellectually fruitful in French history. Entirely new approaches to a number of fields have been developed, and the influence of French thinkers has resonated throughout the West, in many ways reformulating our approach to modern knowledge. This 654-page volume traces developments in French historiography from questions of social history and global history (1945-1960s), structuralism (mid-1960s through mid-1970s), the territory of the historian (1970s through mid-1980s), to criticisms and reformulations (1980s to the present). Featuring work by Francois Furet, Michel de Certeau, Michelle Perrot, Pierre Nora, Roger Chartier, Ernest Labrousse, Fernand Braudel, Claude Levi-Strauss, Michel Foucault, Jacques Le Goff, Pierre Bourdieu, and others, this volume illuminates the most important controversies about historical method in the twentieth century.
Autonomy and Ideology
Positioning an Avant-Garde in America
Robert E. Somol, editor
Essays by Phyllis Lambert, Bernard Tschumi, Terence Riley, Robert Somol, Colin Rowe, Philip Johnson, Jeffrey Kipnis, Francesco Dal Co, Joan Ockman, Mark Linder, Detlef Mertins, Mitchell Schwarzer, K. Michael Hays, Sylvia Lavin, Rem Koolhaas, Paulette Singley, Peter Eisenman, and Beatriz Colomina
This is the documentation — transcripts, essays, and images — of the proceedings of an influential conference held in honor of Philip Johnson. Hosted in New York City in February 1996 by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, together with the Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the Museum of Modern Art, the conference was organized by Phyllis Lambert and Peter Eisenman and convened by Robert Somol. The international roster of diverse participants included historians, theorists, critics, and architects who debated such themes as the critical dynamics between museums as institutions and the material they represent; the issue of “high”...Read more about: Autonomy and Ideology »
A Culture of Conspiracy
Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America
What do UFO believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in common? According to Michael Barkun in this fascinating yet disturbing book, quite a lot. It is well known that some Americans are obsessed with conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 2001 terrorist attacks have all generated elaborate stories of hidden plots. What is far less known is the extent to which conspiracist worldviews have recently become linked in strange and unpredictable ways with other “fringe” notions such as a belief in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the extraordinary genealogies and permutations of these increasingly widespread ideas, Barkun shows how this web of urban legends has spread among subcultures on the Internet and through mass media, how a new style of conspiracy thinking has recently arisen, and how this phenomenon relates to larger changes in American culture. This book,...Read more about: A Culture of Conspiracy »