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Tag Archives: Clara Heyworth

Alain Badiou

BADIOU’S COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Verso, America’s preeminent radical press, is proud to announce the third volume in its ongoing Pocket Communism series:

THE COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS

By ALAIN BADIOU

“A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!”—Slavoj Žižek

“In sum, a heartless bastard”—New Republic

Unwilling to neglect the stigmatizing burden of historical failure that communism has come to bear, Alain Badiou has set out to formulate a hypothesis that will resurrect and reinvigorate the communist ideal. 

In the wake of the financial crisis, Badiou presents his argument with a controlled urgency and a sincere conviction that “Communism is the right hypothesis.” Pointing to the emptiness in neoliberal capitalism’s promise of “human rights,” Badiou aims for a new kind of “universal emancipation” in his reconceptualization of communism. 

Badiou insists that his book is not a work of politics, but one that deals with the issues it raises at a fundamentally philosophical level: rather than taking for granted the “failure” of communism, he is intent on defining failure as such, crediting with sagacity only those “who are not blinded by the propagandist notion of failure.” With this in mind, Badiou takes us from May 1968 to the Cultural Revolution to the Paris Commune. Rather than flinching from the historical precedent set by these events, Badiou invites the possibility that these so-called failures may be thought of as a sequence that is far from complete. He argues, in other words, “that the apparent, and sometimes bloody, failures of events closely bound up with the communist hypothesis were and are stages in its history.”

Concerning the ultimate goal of The Communist Hypothesis, the book speaks for itself: 

“To put it in a nutshell: we have to be bold enough to have an idea. A great idea. We have to convince ourselves that there is nothing ridiculous or criminal about having a great idea. The world of global and arrogant capitalism in which we live is taking us back to the 1840s and the birth of capitalism. Its imperative, as formulated by Guizot, was: ‘Get rich!’ We can translate that as ‘Live without an idea!’ We have to say that we cannot live without an idea. We have to say: ‘Have the courage to support the idea, and it can only be the communist idea in its generic sense.’ ”

FOR INTERVIEWS & REVIEW COPIES OF ALL TITLES IN THE SERIES PLEASE CONTACT CLARA HEYWORTHclara@versobooks.com

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Jean-Paul Sartre

UNFINISHED PROJECTS: DECOLONIZATION AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
By
Paige Arthur

A major rereading of the life and work of Jean-Paul Sartre, published on the 30th anniversary of his death (April 15, 1980)

Sartre’s anticolonialism proves, in Paige Arthur’s sophisticated rendition, far richer and more complex than snide dismissals of his ‘totalitarian’ impulses have allowed.” –— Samuel Moyn, Columbia University

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In this major rereading of Sartre’s life and work, Paige Arthur traces the relationship between the philosopher’s decades-long commitment to decolonization and his intellectual thought. Where other commentators have focused on the tensions between Sartre’s Marxism and his account of existential freedom—usually to denigrate one in favor of the other—Arthur shows that Sartre’s political engagement with global liberation movements and his philosophical framework were inextricably intertwined.

Closely following the postwar movements for decolonization, and then supporting the war of independence in Algeria, Sartre proposed an influential and uncompromising view of imperialism. Analyzing the Western attitude to the “subhuman” colonial subject, he offered an account of the social constraints applying to both ruler and ruled, and came to argue that political violence—on both sides—was a systematic consequence of the colonial order. Arthur’s rich and nuanced book locates Sartre within the political discussions of his time, while also looking forward to contemporary debates about new forms of imperialism and resistance.

“Since the late 1970s, anti-totalitarian discourse has reduced Sartre to an unwitting casualty of the Cold War split. Now, Paige Arthur counters the hysteria and moralizing of the last thirty years with a carefully reasoned and erudite study that reveals Sartre for what he was: a profound and consistent thinker of liberation and decolonization.”—Kristin Ross, author of May’68 and its Afterlives

“Overcoming today’s amnesia about Sartre as a founding spirit of ‘postcolonialism,’ Paige Arthur shows his relevance for our own encounters with ‘globalization.’”—Ronald Aronson, author of Sartre’s Second Critique and Camus and Sartre

Paige Arthur is Deputy Director of Research at the International Center for Transitional Justice. She has taught at both UC Berkeley and the New School University.

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FOR INTERVIEWS & REVIEW COPIES PLEASE CONTACT CLARA HEYWORTH: clara@versobooks.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Clara Heyworth
Publication: 15th April, 2010 clara@versobooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-84467-399-5 Tel. 718-246-8160
20 Jay Street, Suite 1010
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: +1 (718) 246 8160
Fax: +1 (718) 246 8165
Email: clara@versobooks.com
http://www.versobooks.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski:

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com