Review of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities

Kublai Khan sits above the Venetian traveler Marco Polo and asks him to describe the cities he has seen. Polo, if there is such a person, begins to bring cities out of his imagination and describes them in a few paragraphs, in the style of the book that made him famous.

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Review of Zizek’s Living in the End Times

And so we return to the bad boy of contemporary philosophy, the Elvis of cultural theory, the world’s most famous and controversial living Slovenian and a person who divides even those who broadly agree with his opinions. In this, his most recent book, Slavoj Zizek takes as his starting point (or possibly has been persuaded to do so by his publisher) the concept of the impending end of civilization as we know it and then invited to scrawl his dialectics all over the place.

Read the full review here: http://www.bookideas.com/reviews/index.cfm?fuseaction=displayReview&id=6424

What Is Economic History?

Economic history is a branch of history that focuses specifically on the ways in which economic activities have been organized within a particular territory over a specified period of time, together with the ways in which people have sought to make a living and the management of government finances, trade, investment and debt.

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Review of Karl Marx: A Life

There is always a fascination with the lives of the great people of the past and the extent to which their private lives affected or compromised the work that made their reputation. So it is with Karl Marx, about whom numerous books have been written and, no doubt, numerous more will be written about in the future. Most such books attempt to engage in one way or another with the work and treat the personal life, it at all, as a minor adjunct to the public persona

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Review of Slavoj Zizek’s Interrogating the Real

Salvoj Zizek is perhaps the most well-known philosopher-cultural critic in the world today: he seems to leave a flurry of ruffled feathers wherever he (intellectually and physically) goes and appalls some just as he inspires others. He is also extremely difficult to summarise in general terms because of the complexity of many of the issues about which he writes and because of his method and procedure for doing philosophy.

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Review of Hegel: Reason in History

World history represents the development of the Spirit’s consciousness of freedom and the consequent realization of that freedom. This development implies a gradual progress, a series of ever more concrete differentiation, as involved in the concept of freedom. The logical and, even more, the dialectical nature of the concept in general, the necessity of its purely abstract self-development, is treated in Logic (pp.78-9).

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Review of Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Welcome to the Desert of the Real is Slavoj Zizek’s response to the events of September 11th, 2001 and was commissioned by Verso Books as a short work to be accompanied by responses by other well-known commentators, including Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio. It is subtitled “Five Essays on September 11 and Other Dates” and those who are familiar with Zizek’s work will be able to predict the character and shape of the book from this information. As is his typical methodology, Zizek combines often quite dense, Lacanian-infused psychoanalysis with cultural commentary informed by Marxism and Hegelianism.

Read the full review here.