Owen Hatherley's new travelogue through the grim thoroughfares of contemporary urban planning is raising both hackles and high praise from across the mainstream media.
Reviewing A New Kind of Bleak for Time Out, Euan Ferguson praises Hatherley's "typically acerbic and witty arguments" on the ideological landscape that have shaped our urban environments, from the unrealised potential of post-war planning to the clumsy market-driven regeneration of Blairism:
Hatherley's an engaging, fearless and startlingly intelligent polemicist, one unashamed to talk about class and capitalism and the importance of state provision. We need a writer like him now more than ever, an uncompromising voice from the left: the purpose of his search for the real Britain is not to take the piss or exhume fake nostalgia but to ask questions for which there are no easy answer.
In his essay on Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Groys highlights a French linguistic quirk; the phrase "to mean" is the same as the phrase "to desire to say". Reviewing Groy's new book Introduction to Antiphilosophy, in which the essay is contained, Stuart Kelly suggests this irony sums up "anti-philosophy's conundrum".
Kelly finds Groy's new book to be more than an introduction, but rather a book of provocative essays he "would recommend...to anyone already interested in critical theory and the avant garde", which tackle philosophers from Kierkegaard on whose "keynote, as Groys argues, is a commitment to Marx's dictum that philosophy had hitherto only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point was to change it."
The March/April issue of New Left Review is now on sale featuring the following essays:
An epistle to capitalism's immobilized opponents from the author of Farewell to an Idea. Drawing on sources from Bruegel to Nietzsche, Hazlitt to Benjamin, T. J. Clark supplies notes for a rethinking of left politics that would recognize the impasses of the present and the horrific legacies of the past, while abandoning the mirages of futurity.
Susan Watkins: Presentism?
Responding to Clark, Susan Watkins questions the adequacy of a perspective built upon man's propensity for violence, and defends a historicized politics of social transformation against the cramped horizon of the present.
There are Reds under the bed. Or in the academies. Or worse: about to spill into the streets. So warns Alan Johnson in World Affairs, the esteemed Washington-based international affairs journal. Tracing the rising profile of a group of authors such as Alain Badiou, Bruno Bosteels and Slavoj Žižek and the popularity of their books, the columnist outlines what he sees as a nascent threat lurking in the incendiary words of Terry Eagleton and Toni Negri.