NLR 90

Susan WatkinsThe Political State of the Union

Debt, deflation and stagnation have now become the familiar economic stigmata of the EU. But what of its political distortions? A survey of the three principal—and steadily worsening—imbalances in the outcome of European integration: the oligarchic cast of its governors, the lop-sided rise of Germany, and the declining autonomy of the Union as a whole in the North Atlantic universe.

Bhaskar SunkaraProject Jacobin

Opening a series on new radical media, the founder of the most imaginative, and successful, US socialist journal of the new century explains how it was created, what its editorial and political strategy has been, and why it has met such a warm response.

Daniel FinnRethinking the Republic

Nowhere else in the West does a single figure occupy the same position in national life as the political writer Fintan O’Toole in Ireland. The first full consideration of the cursus and corpus of this powerful critic of the island’s establishment, and the society over which it has presided. Merits and limitations of another understanding of ‘republicanism’ in Ireland.

Francesco FiorentinoAmbition

How and when did ambition cease to be a moral fault in the European mind and acquire the trappings of ambiguous virtue it possesses in modern times? The ardent hero of Stendhal’s novel of Restoration France as cynosure of the change, and its implications for the social order.

Enrica VillariDuty

In diametric contrast, a sense of duty as the condition of an ethical life in George Eliot’s Middlemarch. No longer, however, dictated by tradition or convention, but designed as individual choice—in illusion or fulfillment—through the modest routines of daily life.

Gopal BalakrishnanThe Abolitionist—1

Opening salvo of a two-part reconstruction of Marx’s intellectual passage through the Hegelian—then Ricardian—conceptual landscape of his early years, taking him to the threshold of his mature architectonics of capitalism as a mode of production. From a starting-point in the philosophical empyrean of the 1830s to a turning-point with the economic upturn of the early 1850s, the development of one sketch of an historical materialism to the brink of another.

Audit Bleak: Comfort Weak

Vivek Chibber on Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions. Sombre balance-sheet of the failures of Indian development, and remedies insufficient for them.

Design and Discontent

Michael Denning on Nikil Saval, Cubed: The Secret History of the Workplace. Transitions from counting-house to typing-pool to playpen, as capital’s designers sought to contain the discontents of labour.

A Revolutionary Mobile

Blair Ogden on Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life. The lost wanderer of legend in new and more searching biographical light.