Perhaps not unexpectedly, Richard Seymour’s Unhitched has roused Christopher Hitchens’ legion of defenders and apologists to indignation, and Seymour has risen to the occasion in characteristically scathing fashion.
In the Washington Post: “The author — a Marxist writer and activist born in Northern Ireland and living in London — has done his research, apparently having read almost everything his subject ever wrote, but in the service of the narrow goals of the over-zealous prosecutor…Seymour insists on advancing his argument from solid ground onto very thin ice.”
In response, Verso will soon be publishing Seymour’s new trilogy of Stieg Larsson-style books: “The Strident Marxist Who Went Too Far, The Strident Marxist Who Didn't Go Far Enough, and The Strident Marxist Who Went Far Enough, Took Pictures, Came Back and Mailed Them To Your Mama.”
Next Thursday, Barbara Fields will discuss Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life with Atlantic senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates at the CUNY Graduate Center. The book, which Fields co-wrote with her sister, Karen Fields, is dense with ideas and there will be lots to cover in the conversation.
In advance of the event, we recommend the Academic & the Artist podcast, which Karen Fields has appeared on three times now. The programs provide a great opportunity to explore some of the challenging debates circulating around the book's central themes of race, inequality and the mythical belief in a "post-racial" America.
In the first interview, which was released shortly after Racecraft was published in the fall of last year, Fields talked to the podcast hosts José F. Moreno and Sergio Muñoz about racial identity, the racializing of inequality, and the problems inherent in fighting inequality with social policy that has been constructed on racial terms. Music by Stevie Wonder—Fields is a fan—was played during musical interludes. Click here to listen to the first show.
"My impression in general is that the business press is more open, more free, often more critical, less constrained by external power and external influences."
"Latin Ameirca has begun to address its horrendous internal problems. This is an area of the world that ought to be pretty rich and successful. [...] Compare it with East Asia which is far poorer in resources, many faced with hostile powers and internal conflicts, which South America isn't - but it's grown extensively and developed."
"The first was in Venezuela in 2002 when the US quite openly backed a coup attempt which was successful for a few days but was then overturned. [...] The second was in Haiti in 2004 when the traditional torturers of Haiti, France and the US, combined to give not-so-tacit support to a military uprising, and intervened to kidnap the elected president and send him off to central Africa [...] The third case was Honduras, where the elected president, Zelaya, was expelled by the military."