Andrew Saint's review of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain for the Times Literary Supplement has some nice things to say, and many criticisms.
For Saint, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is
no true guidebook at all but a ranting, panting travelogue eked out with provocatively scruffy little photographs ... [Hatherley] doesn't say much that is perceptive because he doesn't really look. He is in much too much of a hurry to place them in cultural context, say something flip, move on and weave his slashing narrative. Haste is both this book's virtue and its vice. It gives it a vitality and immediacy, but does not make for mature criticism ... its instant and local value is enormous. It destroys shibboleths, and its anger, zest and articulacy make one think.
Saint also remarks on the author's "macho façade and ... semblance of hectic movement." Saint, the general editor of the Survey of London, part of English Heritage's Research Department, then attempts "to define the shape of Hatherley's cultural baggage"
Architecture for Hatherley must be hard, sincere, obtrusive, if possible outrageous, by preference connected to the puritan heyday of the welfare state ... Just as for Betjeman the supreme experience might be evensong in a Comper church menaced by an urban motorway, so for Hatherley it is wandering through the deserted Sheffield Markets with hard-rock tracks in his ears, or talking to ex-punks who remember the last days of Hulme.
The Times Literary Supplement website is "under construction." This review appears in the edition of Friday 28 January 2011.
Benjamin Kunkel has written a lengthy article on David Harvey for the London Review of Books. Nominally a joint review of his recent books The Enigma of Capital and A Companion to Marx's Capital, it engages with Harvey's entire body of work, and especially his seminal The Limits to Capital.
Over recent decades, the landmarks of Marxian economic thinking include Ernest Mandel's Late Capitalism (1972), David Harvey's Limits to Capital (1982), Giovanni Arrighi's Long 20th Century (1994) and Robert Brenner's Economics of Global Turbulence (2006), all expressly concerned with the grinding tectonics and punctual quakes of capitalist crisis. Yet little trace of this literature, by Marx or his successors, has surfaced even among the more open-minded practitioners of what might be called the bourgeois theorisation of the current crisis.
In a critical review of John A. Hall's Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography for The New Republic, John Gray opens by agreeing with Hall on one particular point—that Gellner was an exceptionally honest thinker:
John A. Hall concludes his account of Ernest Gellner by observing that his outlook on the world was austere. "But therein lies its attraction," he goes on. "Not much real comfort for our woes is on offer; the consolations peddled in the market are indeed worthless. What Gellner offered was something more mature and demanding: cold intellectual honesty." Brief personal impressions are rarely conclusive, especially when recalled after many years; but that Gellner was an exceptionally honest thinker is beyond reasonable doubt.
The Millions, one of the US's most-respected literary sites, has called The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise one of the most-anticipated books of 2011, noting that
We readers will have to deal with the fortunate burden of clearing shelf-space for another novel by Perec this spring, with the first English translation of The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise.
Visit The Millions to see the full list of recommended reading for 2011.