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History and Obstinacy


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This book is an astounding manifestation of an improbable constellation of a great writer and filmmaker and an important social philosopher. They combine the production forces of two rare minds who mutually complement each another. Readers will enjoy the illuminating insights and surprising discoveries from the revealing assemblages of ideas, arguments, and imaginations. -- Jurgen Habermas By presenting theory as montage with photos, highlighted text, excursuses, diagrams, and box quotes, History and Obstinacy takes up the legacies of the historical avant-garde, but it does so in an anti-vanguardist mode. As it explores materialist anthropology, the archeology of labor power, histories and stories of defiance and tenacious resistance, it turns its political attention toward the extended past that grounds our evolving present. In its search for answers about the neglected organic and subjective dimension of capital's logic, this book speaks more directly to our current condition than its historical origin in a period of post-1960s disorientation might suggest. An indispensable message in a bottle from another time and a pleasure to read. -- Andreas, Huyssen

About the Author

Alexander Kluge is an author and filmmaker, known for launching the New German Cinema in the early 1960s. Oskar Negt is Professor of Sociology at the Universitat Hannover. Early in his career, he was a student of Theodor Adorno and assistant to Jurgen Habermas. Devin Fore is Associate Professor in the Department of German at Princeton University.


...even when Kluge and Negt's way of approaching the history of labor and obstinacy is unsettling, the historic-philosophical and, above all, encyclopaedic endeavour undertaken in the book is thoroughly commendable. Kluge and Negt have accomplished a thought provoking and intelligently written volume on how the history of obstinacy shows when and where human beings have resisted the seemingly uninterrupted flow and overwhelming ideological power of capitalism. -Radical Philosophy Review

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