Philosophy & Critical Theory
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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Bullshit Jobs
A Theory
David Graeber
From bestselling writer David Graeber, a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs, and their consequences. Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled "On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs." It went viral.
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Alienation and Freedom
Frantz Fanon
A fascinating array of uncollected (and several previously lost) essays by the great Pan-African philosopher and post-colonial theorist. This tome gives us a deeper and more personal portrait of the man himself, and his essays on racism, anti-imperialism and the psychology of fascism remain deeply relevant today.—Recommended by Michael
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The Responsibility of Intellectuals
Noam Chomsky
Originally published in the New York Review of Books, Chomsky's essay eviscerated the "hypocritical moralism of the past" (such as when Woodrow Wilson set out to teach Latin Americans "the art of good government") and exposed the shameful policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying it.
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Life in Code
A Personal History of Technology
The never-more-necessary return of one of our most vital and eloquent voices on technology and culture, the author of the seminal Close to the Machine The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation...
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At the Existentialist Cafe
Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others
Sarah Bakewell
Bakewell manifests the freedom and thrill of existentialism with hardly any of the dread. You are free. You decide. —Recommended by Caitlyn
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Radical Technologies
The Design of Everyday Life
Adam Greenfield
A field manual to the technologies that are transforming our lives
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The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge
Abraham Flexner
A short, provocative book about why "useless" science often leads to humanity's greatest technological breakthroughs A forty-year tightening of funding for scientific research has meant that resources are increasingly directed toward applied or practical outcomes, with the intent of creating products of immediate value.
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We Gon' Be Alright
Notes on Race and Resegregation
Jeff Chang
In these provocative, powerful essays acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and equity.
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Nan Dòmi
An Initiate's Journey into Haitian Vodou
Mimerose Beaubrun
The first and only insider's account of Vodou's private, mystical, interior practice, a compelling story of initiation and transformation.
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The Grey Album
On the Blackness of Blackness
Kevin Young
Taking its title from Danger Mouse's pioneering mashup of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album, Kevin Young’s encyclopedic book combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical chorus to illustrate the African American tradition of...
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A Little History of the World
E. H. Gombrich
In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited by a publishing acquaintance to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks...
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Storming the Gates of Paradise
Landscapes for Politics
Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit has made a vocation of journeying into difficult territory and reporting back, as an environmentalist, antiglobalization activist, and public intellectual. Storming the Gates of Paradise, an anthology of her essential essays from the...
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The Neutral
Lecture Course at the College de France (1977-1978)
Roland Barthes
"I define the Neutral as that which outplays the paradigm, or rather I call Neutral everything that baffles paradigm." With these words, Roland Barthes describes a concept that profoundly shaped his work and was the subject of a landmark series of...
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Existentialism Is a Humanism
Jean Paul Sartre
It was to correct common misconceptions about his thought that Sartre accepted an invitation to speak on October 29, 1945, at the Club Maintenant in Paris. The unstated objective of his lecture (“Existentialism Is a Humanism”) was to...

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