[Marxism] NEW TITLES: The Essential Žižek: Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism & Revolution at the Gates - Selected Writings of Lenin from 1917

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Mon Oct 3 11:11:33 MDT 2011


TWO NEW ADDITIONS TO THE ESSENTIAL ŽIŽEK



DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM?: FIVE INTERVENTIONS IN THE (MIS)USE OF A NOTION

By SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK



REVOLUTION AT THE GATES: SELECTED WRITINGS OF LENIN FROM 1917

By V.I. LENIN

Edited by SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK




PUBLISHED 29TH AUGUST 2011






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Praise for SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK



“The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged from Europe in some decades.” TERRY EAGLETON

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DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM?


In some circles, a nod towards totalitarianism is enough to dismiss any critique of the status quo. Such is the insidiousness of the neo-liberal ideology, argues Slavoj Žižek. DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM turns a specious rhetorical strategy on its head to identify a network of family resemblances between totalitarianism and modern liberal democracy.

Žižek argues that totalitarianism is invariably defined in terms of four things: the Holocaust as the ultimate, diabolical evil; the Stalinist gulag as the alleged truth of the socialist revolutionary project; ethnic and religious fundamentalisms, which are to be fought through multiculturalist tolerance; and the deconstructionist idea that the ultimate root of totalitarianism is the ontological closure of thought. Žižek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail but in what enables the very designation totalitarian: the liberal-democratic consensus itself.

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REVOLUTION AT THE GATES

The idea of a Lenin renaissance might well provoke an outburst of sarcastic laughter. Marx is OK, but Lenin? Doesn’t he stand for the big catastrophe which left its mark on the entire twentieth-century?

Lenin, however, deserves wider consideration than this, and his writings of 1917 are testament to a formidable political figure. They reveal his ability to grasp the significance of an extraordinary moment in history. Everything is here, from Lenin-the-ingenious-revolutionary-strategist to Lenin-of-the-enacted-utopia. To use Kierkegaard’s phrase, what we can glimpse in these writings is Lenin-in-becoming: not yet Lenin-the-Soviet-institution, but Lenin thrown into an open, contingent situation.

In REVOLUTION AT THE GATES, Slavoj Žižek locates the 1917 writings in their historical context, while his afterword tackles the key question of whether Lenin can be reinvented in our era of “cultural capitalism.” Žižek is convinced that, whatever the discussion—the forthcoming crisis of capitalism, the possibility of a redemptive violence, the falsity of liberal tolerance—Lenin’s time has come again.

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Praise for DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM?

“The ferociously productive Slovenian philosopher now takes up one of those heavy, predictable, unpromising topics—totalitarianism—and manages to produce a whirling carnival of political critique, cultural interpretations, and ornery bombast.” – NEW POLITICAL SCIENCE

“As an alternative to the current post-modernist cult of cynicism and retreat into islands of privacy and nihilism ... the five essays making up DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM insist on the social link and offer the visionary strength for resistance against all forms of totalized explanations.” – WORLD LITERATURE TODAY

“This attempt to rethink the conditions of radical political action is one of a number of signs that, after the doldrums of the 1980s and 1990s, left-wing thought is beginning to revive. It will be fascinating to follow where the flood of eloquence and imagination next sweeps Slavoj Zizek.”– TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

Praise for REVOLUTION AT THE GATES

“A return to Marx may be acceptable today ... But a repetition of Lenin? ... Perhaps Žižek’s return to Lenin is merely tactical, figurative even. He can’t be serious, can he? ... Žižek claims that Lenin’s act, ‘his choice,’ continues to speak to those of us on the left today. Faced with our current conceptual deadlock, we must have the courage, the nerve, to risk isolation, self-annihilation even, in order to offer a real alternative to the false oppositions recuperated by and churned out for our consumption by the image industry of late capitalism ... The postmodernists and liberal multiculturalists, today’s Bernsteins and Kautskys – our contemporary Plekhanovs and Martovs, beware!” – BAD SUBJECTS

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SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK is today's most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, and literature to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 30 books, Slavoj Žižek’s provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. His latest book is LIVING IN THE END TIMES.

Called the “Elvis of cultural theory” and the “greatest intellectual high since anti-Oedipus” Žižek’s work has appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES, the NEW YORKER and the GUARDIAN, and he has appeared in Astra Taylor's feature length films ŽIŽEK! and EXAMINED LIFE. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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DID SOMEBODY SAY TOTALITARIANISM?

ISBN: 978 1 84467 713 9 / $22.95/£12.99/$28.50 / Paperback/ 288 pages



REVOLUTION AT THE GATES

ISBN: 978 1 84467 714 6 / $24.95/£14.99/$31.00 / Paperback / 352 pages

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Other titles in THE ESSENTIAL ŽIŽEK series:


THE FRAGILE ABSOLUTE: OR, WHY IS THE CHRISTIAN LEGACY WORTH FIGHTING FOR?

ISBN: 978 1 84467 302 5 / $22.95/£12.99/$25 / Paperback / 208 pages



THE PLAGUE OF FANTASIES

ISBN: 978 1 84467 303 2 / 24.95/£12.99/$25 / Paperback / 272 pages



THE SUBLIME OBJECT OF IDEOLOGY

ISBN: 978 1 84467 300 1 / 22.95/£12.99/$25 / Paperback / 272 pages



THE TICKLISH SUBJECT: THE ABSENT CENTRE OF POLITICAL ONTOLOGY

ISBN: 978 1 84467 301 8 / 26.95/£14.99/$29.50 / Paperback / 432 pages


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For more information and to buy:
http://www.versobooks.com/series_collections/10-the-essential-zizek
http://www.versobooks.com/books/977-did-somebody-say-totalitarianism
http://www.versobooks.com/books/978-revolution-at-the-gates


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