Crisis and Change Today: Basic Questions of Marxist Sociology, Edition 2

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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Crisis and Change Today provides a solid introduction to Marxist social theory. The work's unique voice is expressed in its Socratic-dialogic approach, structured around forty questions that students have about society and social change. Topics range from theories of history, economics, unemployment, racial oppression, the state, fascism, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and points of convergence and difference between the dialectical approach and other approaches to social science. The content and tone of the work invites students to evaluate various traditional and current explanations of social institutions and social processes and encourages them to weigh the debates and investigate further.

The first edition was very well received (Distinguished Scholarship Award of the Section on Marxist Sociology of the ASA), and the second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to be relevant for students today. Though the first edition was written during the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the economic crisis have generated more interest in using Marxist analysis both as a tool to analyze and understand capitalism and the weaknesses of past Marxist praxis.
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About the author

Peter Knapp is professor of sociology at Villanova University.
Alan Spector is professor of sociology at Purdue University Calumet.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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Published on
Jan 16, 2011
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Pages
387
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ISBN
9781442208230
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Alan Spector
On June 17, 1966, the author's high school classmate, M. J. Savoy, was killed in a military plane crash into the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam.  The search for M. J. and his crewmates was unsuccessful, and each has since been listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.  But what if M. J. did not really die in that crash?  What if it were staged for some reason?  Body Not Recovered is inspired by and dedicated to M. J. Savoy.

When 1964 University City graduate and teenage loner, JR Spears, enlists to fight in Vietnam for the noblest of reasons, he begins a journey that takes him from committed warrior to reluctant soldier to underground antiwar leader.  Confronted by a conflict they increasingly find abhorrent and unjust, Spears and a small cadre of comrades conspire, with both commitment and foreboding, to stage a helicopter crash, fake their deaths, and surreptitiously return to the states to join the protest movement.

These deserters are not the only ones who risk their lives and personal freedom or whose families are ravaged by the war.  When Maggie Blessing's brother is killed in action, she runs away from home to join the antiwar movement, leaving her mourning parents.  John Muccelli, Spears's high school classmate, fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent, only to be conflicted by the illegal tactics he is ordered to use to hunt down protest instigators.  Bernice Williams, Maggie's mentor and lover, turns from influential antiwar leader to zealous bomber to victim of her own fanaticism.  The war, the protests, these characters, and the soul of a nation converge in the supercharged 1960s and 1970s environment of the Bay Area. 

Andrei Lankov
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, Lankov goes on to argue that this cannot continue forever, since the old system is slowly falling apart. In the long run, with or without reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if attempted, will trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on vast expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive.
Alan Spector
On June 17, 1966, the author's high school classmate, M. J. Savoy, was killed in a military plane crash into the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam.  The search for M. J. and his crewmates was unsuccessful, and each has since been listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.  But what if M. J. did not really die in that crash?  What if it were staged for some reason?  Body Not Recovered is inspired by and dedicated to M. J. Savoy.

When 1964 University City graduate and teenage loner, JR Spears, enlists to fight in Vietnam for the noblest of reasons, he begins a journey that takes him from committed warrior to reluctant soldier to underground antiwar leader.  Confronted by a conflict they increasingly find abhorrent and unjust, Spears and a small cadre of comrades conspire, with both commitment and foreboding, to stage a helicopter crash, fake their deaths, and surreptitiously return to the states to join the protest movement.

These deserters are not the only ones who risk their lives and personal freedom or whose families are ravaged by the war.  When Maggie Blessing's brother is killed in action, she runs away from home to join the antiwar movement, leaving her mourning parents.  John Muccelli, Spears's high school classmate, fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming an FBI agent, only to be conflicted by the illegal tactics he is ordered to use to hunt down protest instigators.  Bernice Williams, Maggie's mentor and lover, turns from influential antiwar leader to zealous bomber to victim of her own fanaticism.  The war, the protests, these characters, and the soul of a nation converge in the supercharged 1960s and 1970s environment of the Bay Area. 

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