‘The Adventure of French Philosophy’ by Alain Badiou

The Adventure of French Philosophy is essential reading for anyone interested in what Badiou calls the “French moment” in contemporary thought.
Badiou explores the exceptionally rich and varied world of French philosophy in a number of groundbreaking essays, published here for the first time in English or in a revised translation. Included are the often-quoted review of Louis Althusser’s canonical works For Marx and Reading Capital and the scathing critique of “potato fascism” in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. There are also talks on Michel Foucault and Jean-Luc Nancy, and reviews of the work of Jean-François Lyotard and Barbara Cassin, notable points of interest on an expansive tour of modern French thought.
Guided by a small set of fundamental questions concerning the nature of being, the event, the subject, and truth, Badiou pushes to an extreme the polemical force of his thinking. Against the formless continuum of life, he posits the need for radical discontinuity; against the false modesty of finitude, he pleads for the mathematical infinity of everyday situations; against the various returns to Kant, he argues for the persistence of the Hegelian dialectic; and against the lure of ultraleftism, his texts from the 1970s vindicate the role of Maoism as a driving force behind the communist Idea.


Verso
June 2012
ISBN: 9781844677931 

‘The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression’ by Darian Leader


Fifty years ago, the terms mourning and melancholia were part of the psychological lexicon. Today, in a world of rapid diagnoses, quick cures, and big pharmaceutical dollars, the catch-all concept of depression has evolved to take their place. In The New Black, Darian Leader argues that this shift is more than semantic; rather, it speaks to our culture’s complicated relationship with loss, suffering, and grief.
Part memoir, part cultural analysis, Leader draws on examples from literature, art, cinema, and history, as well as case studies from his work as a psychologist, to explore the unconscious ways our culture responds to the experience of loss. He visits a bookstore in search of studies on mourning, and, finding none, moves on to the fiction and poetry sections, where he finds countless examples of mourning in literature. Moving from historical texts of the Middle Ages, to Freud’s essays, to Lacan, to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Leader provides an innovative tour of mourning and melancholia and our culture’s struggle to understand them.

Graywolf Press
October 27, 2009
ISBN-10: 1555975429
ISBN-13: 978-1555975425

‘Heidegger: His Life and His Philosophy’ by Alain Badiou & Barbara Cassin

Martin Heidegger was an ordinary Nazi and a loyal member of the provincial petty bourgeoisie. He was also a seminal thinker of the Continental tradition and one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. How are we to make sense of this dual life? Should we factor Heidegger's domestic and political associations into our understanding of his thought, or should we treat his intellectual work independently of his abhorrent politics? How does any thinker reconcile the mundane with the ideal or the pursuit of philosophical inquiry with the demands of civic engagement?
In Heidegger, Alain Badiou and Barbara Cassin immerse themselves in the philosopher's correspondence with his wife Elfride to answer these questions as they relate to Heidegger and all thinkers vulnerable to the politics of their times. They focus on Heidegger's tormented relationship with his wife, with Hannah Arendt, and with numerous other women, bringing an unusual level of intimacy to his personal and intellectual worlds.

Columbia University Press
September 2016
ISBN: 9780231157971 

‘The Great Regression’



We are living through a period of dramatic political change Brexit, the election of Trump, the rise of extreme right movements in Europe and elsewhere, the resurgence of nationalism and xenophobia and a concerted assault on the liberal values and ideals associated with cosmopolitanism and globalization. Suddenly we find ourselves in a world that few would have imagined possible just a few years ago, a world that seems to many to be a move backwards. How can we make sense of these dramatic developments and how should we respond to them? Are we witnessing a worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some kind of populist authoritarianism?
This timely volume brings together some of the world's greatest minds to analyse and seek to understand the forces behind this 'great regression'. Writers from across disciplines and countries, including Paul Mason, Pankaj Mishra, Slavoj Žižek, Zygmunt Bauman, Arjun Appadurai, Wolfgang Streeck and Eva Illouz, grapple with our current predicament, framing it in a broader historical context, discussing possible future trajectories and considering ways that we might combat this reactionary turn. 
The Great Regression is a key intervention that will be of great value to all those concerned about recent developments and wondering how best to respond to this unprecedented challenge to the very core of liberal democracy and internationalism across the world today.


Polity
April 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5095-2235-4 

‘No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need’ by Naomi Klein

Remember when it all seemed to be getting better? Before Trump happened? Naomi Klein, internationally acclaimed journalist, activist and bestselling author, shows us how we got to this surreal and dangerous place, how to stop it getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can make things better. No Is Not Enough reveals, among other things, how Trump's election was not a peaceful transition, but a corporate takeover, one using deliberate shock tactics to generate wave after wave of crises and force through radical policies that will destroy people, the environment, the economy and national security. This book is the toolkit for shock resistance, showing all of us how we can break Trump's spell and win the world we need. Don't let them get away with it.
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Haymarket Books
June 13, 2017
ISBN-10: 1608468909
ISBN-13: 978-1608468904

‘Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory’ by Enzo Traverso


The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War but also the rise of a melancholic vision of history as a series of losses. For the political left, the cause lost was communism, and this trauma determined how leftists wrote the next chapter in their political struggle and how they have thought about their past since. Throughout the twentieth century, argues Left-Wing Melancholia, from classical Marxism to psychoanalysis to the advent of critical theory, a culture of defeat and its emotional overlay of melancholy have characterized the leftist understanding of the political in history and in theoretical critique.
Drawing on a vast and diverse archive in theory, testimony, and image and on such thinkers as Karl Marx, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, and others, the intellectual historian Enzo Traverso explores the varying nature of left melancholy as it has manifested in a feeling of guilt for not sufficiently challenging authority, in a fear of surrendering in disarray and resignation, in mourning the human costs of the past, and in a sense of failure for not realizing utopian aspirations. Yet hidden within this melancholic tradition are the resources for a renewed challenge to prevailing regimes of historicity, a passion that has the power to reignite the dialectic of revolutionary thought.

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Columbia University Press
January 2017
312 pages
ISBN: 9780231179423

General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty First Century


What happened to the public intellectuals that used to challenge and inform us? Who is the Sartre or De Beauvoir of the internet age? General Intellects argues we no longer have such singular figures, but there are, instead, general intellects whose writing could, if read collectively, explain our times. Covering topics such as culture, politics, work, technology, and the Anthropocene, each chapter is a concise account of an individual thinker, providing useful context and connections to the work of the others. McKenzie Wark’s distinctive readings are appreciations, but are nonetheless critical of how neoliberal universities militate against cooperative intellectual work that endeavors to understand and also change the world.

The thinkers included are Amy Wendling, Kojin Karatani, Paolo Virno, Yann Moulier Boutang, Maurizio Lazzarato, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Angela McRobbie, Paul Gilroy, Slavoj Žižek, Jodi Dean, Chantal Mouffe, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Hiroki Azuma, Paul B. Préciado, Wendy Chun, Alexander Galloway, Timothy Morton, Quentin Meillassoux, Isabelle Stengers, and Donna Haraway.


Verso
May 16, 2017
336 pages
ISBN-10: 1786631903
ISBN-13: 978-1786631909 

‘The True Life’ by Alain Badiou



Today young people, at least in the West, are on the brink of a new world. With the decline of old traditions, they now face more choices than ever before. Yet powerful forces are pushing them in dangerous directions, into the vortex of consumerism or into reactive forms of traditionalism. This is a time when young people must be particularly attentive to the signs of the new and have the courage to venture forth and find out what they're capable of, without being constrained by the old prejudices and hierarchical ideas of the past. And if the aim of philosophy is to corrupt youth, as Socrates was accused of doing, this can mean only one thing: to help young people see that they don't have to go down the paths already mapped out for them, that they are not just condemned to obey social customs, that they can create something new and propose a different direction as regards the true life.


Polity
March 2017
80 pages
ISBN-10: 1509514899
ISBN-13: 978-1509514892

‘On the Pleasure Principle in Culture: Illusions Without Owners’ by Robert Pfaller


In this fascinating work of cultural theory and philosophy, Robert Pfaller explores the hidden cost of our contemporary approach to pleasure, belief and illusion.
Sports, design, eroticism, social intercourse and games—indeed, all those aspects of our culture commonly deemed "pleasurable"—seem to require beliefs that many regard as illusory. But in considering themselves above the self-deceptions of the crowd, those same sceptics are prone to dismissing a majority of the population as naive or misguided. In doing so, they create a false opposition between the 'simple' masses and their more enlightened rulers. And this dichotomy then functions as an ideological support for neoliberal government: citizens become irrational victims, to be ruled over by a protective security state. What initially appears to be a universal pleasure principle—the role of "anonymous illusions" in mass culture—in this way becomes a rationale for dismantling democracy.

Verso
June 2014
ISBN: 9781781681749

‘Žižek and Law (Nomikoi Critical Legal Thinkers)’ | EPUB


The very first book dedicated to Slavoj Žižek’s theoretical treatment of law, this book gathers widely recognized Žižek scholars as well as legal theorists to offer a sustained analysis of the place of law in Žižek’s work. Whether it is with reference to symbolic law, psychoanalytical law, religious law, positive law, human rights, to Lacan’s, Hegel’s, or Kant’s philosophies of law, or even to Jewish or Buddhist law, Žižek returns again and again to law. And what his work offers, this volume demonstrates, is a radically new approach to law, and a rethinking of its role within the framework of radical politics. With the help of Žižek himself – who here, and for the first time, directly engages with the topic of law – this collection provides an authoritative account of ‘Žižek and law’. It will be invaluable resource for researchers and students in the fields of law, legal theory, legal philosophy, political theory, psychoanalysis, theology, and cultural studies.

Routledge
Nomikoi Critical Legal Thinkers
266 pages
February 25, 2015
ISBN-10: 1138801844
ISBN-13: 978-1138801844

‘The Courage of Hopelessness: Chronicles of a Year of Acting Dangerously’ by Slavoj Žižek | EPUB

In these troubled times, even the most pessimistic diagnosis of our future ends with an uplifting hint that things might not be as bad as all that, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet, argues Slavoj Žižek, it is only when we have admit to ourselves that our situation is completely hopeless - that the light at the end of the tunnel is in fact the headlight of a train approaching us from the opposite direction - that fundamental change can be brought about.

Surveying the various challenges in the world today, from mass migration and geopolitical tensions to terrorism, the explosion of rightist populism and the emergence of new radical politics - all of which, in their own way, express the impasses of global capitalism - Žižek explores whether there still remains the possibility for genuine change. Today, he proposes, the only true question is, or should be, this: do we endorse the predominant acceptance of capitalism as a fact of human nature, or does today's capitalism contain strong enough antagonisms to prevent its infinite reproduction? Can we, he asks, move beyond the failure of socialism, and beyond the current wave of populist rage, and initiate radical change before the train hits?


Allen Lane
10th May 2017
336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0241305578
ISBN-13: 978-0241305577

Buy The Courage of Hopelessness here.