London, E5 0RN United Kingdom
In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives—work, knowledge, home, politics—have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and pedants. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see, the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable, seeks independence—and changes the world.
The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the iconoclast as a radical hero of our times.
Andy Merrifield is the author of nine books. His many articles, essays and reviews have appeared in the Nation, Harper’s, Adbusters, New Left Review, Dissent, Brooklyn Rail, and Radical Philosophy. He is a prolific writer about urbanism and social theory, with titles credited to him including The New Urban Question and Magical Marxism. He has also published three intellectual biographies, of Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and John Berger, as well as a popular travelogue, The Wisdom of Donkeys. His eleventh book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Cities (And Love), is out this summer with OR Books.
Sukhdev Sandhu is the author of, among other books, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City, Night Haunts, and Other Musics. Formerly an award-winning chief film critic at the Daily Telegraph, he writes for Frieze, The Wire, and The Guardian. He is an Associate Professor of English Literature at New York University where he also directs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture.