NLR 144

Alexander ZevinGaza and New York

America’s exorbitant levels of military and diplomatic support for Israel have long been sustained by the hold of pro-Zionist advisors, donors and lobbies over US Middle East policy, Congress, the media and the cultural world. With the latest Gaza war, might their grip on the latter be weakening?

Serge HalimiCondition of France

Incisive survey of the French political and media scene by the former editor of Le Monde diplomatique. Macron’s likely successors, Le Pen’s chance of the presidency—and an explanation of the thirty-year cycle of mass popular protests that has differentiated France from its neighbours.

Oliver EagletonTherborn’s World-Casting

Critical engagement with Göran Therborn’s global analysis of 21st-century society and its prospects for the left. If the contradictions that anchored 20th-century socialism have been surpassed, what has taken their place? Perspective for an emancipatory politics working aslant the grain of history.

Hito SteyerlCommon Sensing?

Cryptocurrency offered to the global underprivileged in exchange for biometric data; a fragmentary ‘common sense’ on Gramscian lines produced by training generative AI. Hito Steyerl reflects on the hegemonic relations of new tech models.

Saul NelsonHigh-Art Kitsch

The oeuvre of Kehinde Wiley—art-world representative of the American super-rich—as iconography of capitalist desire in crisis. Can paintings transfixed by the glamour of the ruling class offer a coded indictment of it, via the assimilation of Romantic and Renaissance prototypes?

Loic WacquantAfropessimism’s Radical Abdication

In radical counter-position to the ameliorative civil-rights tradition, the Afropessimist perspective blends memoir and theory, lyricism and abstraction, into a nihilistic vision of ‘slaveness’ as founding condition of black American life. Loïc Wacquant probes the political logic of this ‘excluvisist brand of race primordialism’.

Leo RobsonJameson after Post Critique

Radical literary theory has defined itself in opposition to a ‘historical-contextual’ approach said to be exemplified by Fredric Jameson. Is this a misreading? Leo Robson on the author of The Political Unconscious as appreciator of plot and popularizer of a positive hermeneutics of globalization.

Unfinished Business?

Francis Mulhern on Philip Cunliffe et al., Taking Control. A radical-democratic manifesto for Britain after leaving the European Union.

Ways of Reading

Patricia McManus on Terry Eagleton, Critical Revolutionaries. Vivid portrait of a literary-critical tradition––Eliot, Richards, Empson, Leavis, Williams––based on language, community, commitment.

After Populism?

Cihan Tuğal on Arthur Borriello and Anton Jäger, The Populist Moment. Historicizing the Euro-Atlantic left of the 2010s and the post-crisis conditions that shaped it.