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Utopia or Bust

"The deepest economic crisis in eighty years prompted a shallow revival of Marxism," writes Benjamin Kunkel of the 2008 recession--and the shallowness was undoubtedly a result of the complex, sometimes difficult nature of contemporary Marxist thought. Enter Kunkel's Utopia or Bust, which leads the uninitiated reader through the biggest names in critical political theory today. Written with the wit and verve of a novelist, Utopia or Bust engages with the revolutionary philosophies of Slavoj Zizek, the economic analyses of David Graeber and David Harvey, and the cultural diagnoses of Fredric Jameson. Discussing the crisis of capitalism alongside the idea of full employment and the right to work, Utopia or Bust is not only a tour through the world of Marxist thought, but also an examination of the state of Western society today.
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About the Author

BENJAMIN KUNKEL is the bestselling author of Indecision and a co-founder of n+1. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books.


"Benjamin Kunkel has pursued a lonely and taxing crash course in Marxist thought, the results of which, set forth here, are nimble, clear, and brave. He dedicates the book to anyone who can use it, which I'll take a step further: it's for anyone who cares about historical necessity, the crisis of capitalism, and our fate." - Rachel Kushner, author of "The Flamethrowers" "Playful and unfailingly lucid...the book is one of the most enjoyable pieces of Marxist criticism in many years." - "The Nation" "It's wonderful to see Benjamin Kunkel turn his considerable talents from the business of novelwriting to these political essays--models of the genre, with plenty to offer to both newcomers to and veterans of radical thought." - Doug Henwood, "Left Business Observer" "From Boris Groys to Slavoj Zizek, Kunkel translates tricky questions of economics, culture, and politics into easy-to-understand prose that distil the problems not only with American capitalism, but capitalism in general" - "Publishers Weekly" "Benjamin Kunkel, aside from having mastered the voice of bemused neuroticism in Indecision, has one of the most interesting minds around." - "The Millions" "Those looking for alternatives, explanations, and a critical map of where Leftist thought stands in our current neoliberal age will find Utopia or Bust a must-read." - Mike Konczal, finance commentator and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute

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