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Tag Archives: American Politics

Richard Nixon


Professor Carl Freedman

Book publication date: January 2012
“I believe the second half of the twentieth century will be known as The Age of Nixon” [Robert Dole, at Nixon’s funeral].

In the age of the Tea Party, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry, not to mention Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, Nixon seems hair-raisingly left-wing by current Republican Party standards: and yet, he laid the groundwork for much of the Republican right wing today.

Carl Freedman picks up the mantle of Garry Wills, David Frost and other political commentators to reassess Nixon’s profound psychic connections with the American people and his influence on many of the most important currents in American life. The book is not just a work of political biography but a study of cultural power: a study in the ways that culture shapes our politics and frames our sense of possibilities and values.  

Future generations have several ways in which to learn about Nixon the man, Nixon the politician and Nixon the myth; these include John Adams’ 1987 opera Nixon in China, Oliver Stone’s 1995 movie Nixon and Garry Wills’ 1970 biography Nixon Agonistes. It is nearly 40 years since the events which led to Nixon’s downfall. The release of his secret grand jury testimony was ordered in July, 36 years after the Watergate trial itself. The Age of Nixon is timely. It is a new kind of book, for both academic and general readers, applying Marxist cultural theory and psychoanalysis to the study of American electoral politics.

Richard Nixon was real, for all that he seems like a fictional character concocted in the course of some strange literary collaboration between Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Theodore Dreiser, and J. G. Ballard. Carl Freedman’s compelling book takes the full measure of Nixon the man, Nixon the media image, Nixon the myth, and even Nixon the ideal type, the quintessential expression, and the most capacious representative of the political and economic system under which we continue to live today.                                                                                                                                                       


“Professor Carl Freedman writes on modern thought and culture: most notably Marxist critical theory, science fiction, film, and US electoral politics.  Previous titles include Critical Theory and Science Fiction (2000) and The Incomplete Projects: Marxism, Modernity, and the Politics of Culture (2002). He was born in North Carolina and received his higher education at the University of North Carolina, Oxford University, and Yale University.  He has taught at Yale, at Wesleyan University (Connecticut), and, since 1984, at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), where he is Professor of English.

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You may also be interested in other titles in the Zero Books imprint

Capitalist Realism [978-184-694-317-1] 2009 £7.99 $14.95 by Mark Fisher is a modern analysis, illuminated by contemporary references from the worlds of film, literature and art, of the ways in which capitalism has presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system.

Militant Modernism [978-184694-176-4 £9.99 $19.95 2009] by Owen Hatherley argues for a Modernism of everyday life, defending modernism in design, film and architecture.

The Meaning of David Cameron  [978-184694-456-7 £6.99 $12.95] by Richard Seymour widens the debate beyond televised debates, party manifestos, campaign trail propaganda and media coverage, and asks whether Cameron is the cipher of the social forces he represents.

Meat Market: female flesh under capitalism [978-1-84694-521-2 £6.99 $12.95 April 2011 Zero Books] by activist Laurie Penny is a feminist dissection of women’s bodies as the fleshy fulcrum of capitalist cannibalism, whereby women are both consumers and consumed. This is a suitably provocative treatise from the voice of student protest and Penny Red columnist.

Around the Outsider: Essays presented to Colin Wilson on the occasion of his 80th birthday  [978-1-84694-668-4 £15.99 May 2011 O-Books] by Colin Stanley is a collection of essays in honour of former ‘Angry Young Man’, the English philosopher/author Colin Wilson, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.

A Year on the Sauce [978-1-84694-529-8 10.99  19.95 2011] by Brendan Montague is a limited edition collection of stories from the most edgy radical news blog in the UK.

The Politics of Down Syndrome [978-1-84694-613-4 £9.99 $14.95 85pp Sept 2011 Zero] by The Book Depository MD Kieron Smith is a call for people to think again about what it means to be inclusive, why we’re hung up on the idea of intelligence and how an inclusive society is a better society.

The Message [978-1-84694-879-4 £9.99 $16.95 Zero Sep 2011] by Tariq Goddard is a topical literary thriller set in a fictional African state in the grip of civil war. Are 21st Century Empire Builders preparing for another go at Africa, 100 years after the Heart of Darkness? See the parallels with the real civil war going on in Libya. This book is being reviewed by Kirsty Wark and guests on BBC 2’s Review Show this month.

Another coming next year is
Beyond the Left: The Communist Critique of the Media [978-1-84694-976-0 £9.99 $14.95Jan 2012 Zero] by Stephen Harper attacks the cherished assumptions of liberal media criticism, and updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.

Review copies and more information is available.

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Hilton Reading Postone


Book Announcement: Cindy Weber, ‘I am An American’: Filming the Fear of Difference’

Dear colleagues

With apologies for cross-posting and a request to circulate this to others who might be interested:

‘I am An American’ Filming the Fear of Difference, by Professor Cynthia Weber, University of Sussex

Exploring the politics of fear, national identity, citizenship, culture and democracy through film. Part history, part political theory, part memoir, part ‘how to’ with regard to research and film-making. With over 150 color images, 223 pages.  Accompanied by a series of films. A website offering free access to all the films discussed in the book will be launched later this summer.

”An unsentimental journey through America. Whatever kind of American you are, or however well you think you know Americans, this book is an eye-opener. I couldn’t put it down.”— Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College, University of London

From Samuel Huntington’s highly controversial Who Are We? to the urgent appeal of Naomi Wolf’s The End of America, Americans are increasingly reflecting on questions of democracy, multiculturalism, and national identity. Yet such debates take place largely at the level of elites, leaving out ordinary American citizens who have much to offer about the lived reality behind the phrase, I am an American.

Cynthia Weber set out on a journey across post-9/11 America in search of a deeper understanding of what it means to be an American today. The result is this brave and captivating memoir that gives a voice to ordinary citizens for whom the terrorist attacks of 2001 and their lingering aftermath live on in collective memory. Heartrending first-person testimonials reveal how the ongoing fear of terrorists and immigrants has betrayed Americas core values of fairness and equality, which have been further weakened by polarizing international and domestic responses. Considered together, these portraits also provide a sharp contrast to the idealized vision of Americanness frequently spun by media and politicians.

Far more than a mere remembrance book about September 11, I Am An American offers precisely the kind of ground level empathy needed to reignite a meaningful national debate about who we are and who we might become as a people and a nation.

Available from Intellect Books, UK and University of Chicago Press, USA:,id=4770/


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

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The Obama Syndrome: What Has Really Changed?

A Live Interview with Tariq Ali and Joel Whitney (Founding Editor in Chief, Guernica)

Friday September 17th, 6.30-8.30pm

The Asia Society

725 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10021

$10 Asia Society members / $12 students with ID/seniors / $15 nonmembers

Purchase tickets online at The Asia Society

An event to launch The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad

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