NLR 79

Mike DavisThe Last White Election?

Panoramic survey of America’s political landscape as revealed by November’s vote, with age, gender, ethnicity and geography the volatile determinants of Obama’s victory. Within an increasingly polarized ideological force field, how will the coming struggles unfold between Democratic President and Senate and a Republican House, itself consumed by turmoil?

Christopher JohnsonAll Played Out?

Christopher Johnson detects the patterns of a hidden philosophy of history, threaded through Claude Lévi-Strauss’s most famous works. Might its seeming pessimism—a sequence of downward turns from the Neolithic to the present—hold out the possibility of alternative outcomes, virtual destinies?

Claude Lévi-StraussThe Setting Sun

In one of the last interviews before his death in 2009, the author of Tristes Tropiques discusses his early literary ambitions, the relation between field work and theory, and the future of anthropology as a discipline.

Kevin GrayPolitical Cultures of South Korea

The presidential victory of Park Geun-Hye, the dictator’s daughter, as bid for a refurbished conservative hegemony in the ROK. Origins of the elite in colonial collaboration and anti-Communist modernization, and its attempts to re-hegemonize the country’s historical trajectory.

Jiwei XiaoA Traveller’s Glance

Object of fierce controversy when first shown, Antonioni’s documentary Chung Kuo—filmed in the PRC during the Cultural Revolution—has since been largely overlooked within his oeuvre. The director of L’avventura as failed Marco Polo, whose patient, humanizing gaze left a record of China’s past that is belatedly being rediscovered.

Bolívar EcheverríaHomo Legens

Is the book-reader an endangered species? Bolívar Echeverría traces the emergence of the individual reading subject within the maelstrom of capitalist modernity, linking their fates to argue against Homo legens’s imminent demise.

Empires at War

Adam Tooze on Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume III: Global Empires and Revolution, 1890–1945. The world-spanning crises of the early 20th century seen through the lens of historical sociology.

Finance for Anarchists

Robin Blackburn on David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Anthropological enquiry into the fluctuating forms of money and credit over the longue durée.

Charting Radical Theory

Gregor McLennan on Göran Therborn, From Marxism to Post-Marxism?. A balance-sheet of the legacies of radical social theory, and its prospects in the new century.