Tom Reifer is Associate Professor of Sociology and an affiliated faculty member in Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Transnational Institute.
This book, a follow-up and further development of Martin’s and Torres’ ideas in their acclaimed Savage State: Welfare Capitalism and Inequality, contains a synthesis and critique of economic theory with historical case studies and new discourse on American globalism and its failures to provide for the economic security of millions of people. Since the original publication over ten years ago, there has been a resurgence in radical political economy and critical theory. Instead of "demonizing" the market, Capitalism and Critique draws lessons from the new directions in social theory and seeks clear solutions for future modes of capitalism.
The author puts forward the provocative thesis that in an age of global crises and risks, a politics of "golden handcuffs" - the creation of a dense network of transnational interdependencies - is exactly what is needed in order to regain national autonomy, not least in relation to a highly mobile world economy. It is imperative that the maxim of nation-based realpolitik - that national interests have necessarily to be pursued by national means - be replaced by the maxim of cosmopolitan realpolitik. The more cosmopolitan our political structures and activities, Beck suggests, the more successful they will be in promoting national interests, and the greater our individual power in this global age will be.
Within The Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Capitalism, Fletcher presents an answer that manages to tend towards both simultaneously. In entering into contemporary debates on radicalism, this innovative volume proposes a revised conception of Hardt and Negri’s philosophy of emancipatory desire. Indeed, Fletcher reassesses Hardt and Negri’s history of Western radicalism and challenges their notion of an alter-modernity break from bourgeois modernity. In addition to this, this title proposes the idea of Western anti-capitalism as a spirit within a spirit, exploring how anti-capitalist movements in the West pose a genuine challenge to the capitalist order while remaining dependent on liberalist assumptions about the emancipatory individual.
Inspired by post-structuralism and rejecting both revolutionary transcendence and notions of an underlying desiring purity, The Cultural Contradictions of Anti-Capitalism offers new insight into how liberal capitalist society persistently produces its own forms of resistance against itself. This book will appeal to graduate and postgraduate students interested in fields such as: Sociology, Politics, International Relations, Cultural Studies, History, and Philosophy.
"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist
"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal
"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 editionThe original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.