Timothy Snyder has reviewed John A. Hall’s book Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography for the Times Literary Supplement. Snyder praises Hall’s book for its invaluable insights into the life and thought of the great philosopher and anthropologist.
The theory of nationalism itself was Gellner’s life. John A. Hall’s admirable biography helps us to see how this is so, by providing essential biographical information and locating Gellner’s arguments within those of his interlocutors, friendly and otherwise.
Hall’s book is not only a descriptive account of Gellner’s life and intellectual trajectory, but also a rigorous critique of his concepts and theories. Himself an acclaimed scholar, Hall assesses the many layers in Gellner’s work, paying special attention to the connections he drew between language and political nationalism.
Hall shows that Gellner’s intuitions about language use were central to every stage of his career. He drops the clues that allow is to see how the theory of nationalism emerged, not so
Drowned In Sound's Alexander Tudor offers a largely positive review of Stephen Duncombe's White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race, praising the depth of the subject matter, and Duncombe's "fun" approach to the topic. He writes:
White Riot instantly raises itself above the various accounts of punk already available, by offering a panopticon of both UK and US punk in the Seventies and early Eighties, tracing its evolution into hardcore and straight-edge, while scattering snippets of numerous essays written on the subject, intelligently selected and edited.
Following up their article on The Ethics of Unpaid Internships, which traverses the legal and ethical swamp of the US intern economy, U.S. News has interviewed Intern Nation author Ross Perlin to get the full scoop on growing trends in internship culture. Ross describes the two main arguments in his book as follows:
One is that the internship system, if you can call it that, is chaotic and sprawling, and in many ways has gone off the rails; it's not working as it should ... Companies are not using internships in the way they used to in many cases, as a recruiting pipeline, as a way to bring talent into the firm. They're using them as a cheap labor force that they're cycling through without any prospect of bringing [interns] on as regular workers.
His second argument is that internships possess a highly unequal class character—perhaps not a phrase (or political argument) that the readers of the U.S. News business page are all too comfortable with.
There is a social justice issue here. If you have the gateway into the workforce being something where you have to come from a well-off-enough background ... people who are from [big cities] where internships are concentrated and have a place to live or are from families that have the money to enable somebody to work unpaid for a summer or six months or even a year, those people are at a serious advantage.
Owen Jones spoke about Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning.
Joined by Daily Mail journalist Harry Phibbs, Owen talked about how the working class have increasingly become an object of fear and ridicule in modern Britain. In an enlivening debate, the discussion looked at commonly held attitudes towards the term 'chav,' and examined what such attitudes say about the social divides still apparent across Brtitain today.
Visit BBC Breakfast to watch the interview