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Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?

Analyzing the different frames through which we experience war, Butler calls for a reorientation of the Left
In this urgent response to violence, racism and increasingly aggressive methods of coercion, Judith Butler explores the media’s portrayal of armed conflict, a process integral to how the West prosecutes its wars. In doing so, she calls for a reconceptualization of the left, one united in opposition and resistance to the illegitimate and arbitrary effects of interventionist military action.


  • “A trenchant and brilliant book.”
  • “It's clear that its author is still interested in stirring up trouble—academic, political and otherwise.”
  • “Judith Butler is quite simply one of the most probing, challenging, and influential thinkers of our time.”
  • “Judith Butler is the most creative and courageous social theorist writing today. Frames of War is an intellectual masterpiece that weds a new understanding of being, immersed in history, to a novel Left politics that focuses on State violence, war and resistance.”
  • “An impressive and challenging book from one of the leading intellectuals of our time.”


  • Winners of our Radical Thinkers competition!

    To launch Set 12 in our Radical Thinkers series, we ran a competition last week to win a copy of every available book published in the series so far.

    Two SUPER WINNERS will be sent a copy of every single Radical Thinkers book we currently have in stock. That's well over 100 books covering everything from the development of US capitalism since 1945 and studies on Freudian metapsychology to classic theory from the likes of Judith Butler, Alain Badiou and Louis Althusser!

    A further 6 runners up will win the new set—featuring Ellen Meiksins Wood, Judith Butler, Norman Geras, OSkar Negt and Alexander Kluge.

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  • Fredric Jameson on Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge

    In honour of the Radical Thinkers competition, we publish an extract from Fredric Jameson's Ideologies of Theory. The extract is an examination of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge's critiques of liberalism, in which Jameson conducts a tantalising study of Public Sphere and Experience, a prize in the aforementioned competition!

    Nine years separate Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung and Geschichte und Eigensinn, the two collaborative works of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. What first strikes the "materialist" reader (the reader of physical books, rather than of "ideas") is the evidence they exhibit of the typographic revolution that—along with the postmodern, the end of the 1960s, and the defeat of the Left—intervenes between them. The first of the two clearly suffers under the constraints of classical discursive form. Its six official chapters, which set out to establish a theory of the "proletarian" public sphere, find themselves forced against their will to produce instead the rudiments of a theory of the bourgeois public sphere. Here everything has already begun to flee into the footnotes and appendices: three "excurses" and some twenty separate "commentaries" now fill up a third of a five-hundred-page volume, into which already a few illustrations begin to emerge.

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  • Fredric Jameson on Alexander Kluge's Notes From Ideological Antiquity

    As part of our new Radical Thinkers set 12, a collection of 4 classic works of political theory, we've recently republished Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt seminal study of the limits of Habermasian liberalism, Public Sphere and Experience. 

    Alongside being one of the most influential German theorists of the past 50 years, continuing the Frankfurt School legacy, Kluge is also world renowned filmmaker. His early films were pioneering examples of the New German Cinema movement, and influenced the later generation of German directors of Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and Margherita von Trotta. 

    In 2009, Kluge set out to put to film Sergei Eisenstein's plans to produce a film of Marx's Capital. The result was a 9 hour epic entitled News from Ideological Antiquity. To celebrate Kluge's work today we're making a commentary of the film by Fredric Jameson available on the blog.

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