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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How to Do Nothing
Resisting the Attention Economy
Jenny Odell
A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention—and our personal information—that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we've been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world
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Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of Utopia
A Graphic Biography
Nick Thorkelson, Paul Buhle, Andrew T. Lamas
The life, times, and work of Herbert Marcuse, one of the 20th century's most remarkable cultural figures.
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Ways of Hearing
Damon Krukowski
Based on his ear-opening podcast, Ways of Hearing expertly chronicles the transition from analog culture to digital. And while Krukowski points out what is gained in the digital world, he also reminds us what we're losing- and who’s making those decisions for us. - Staff Picked by Andy & Paul
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Surrogate Humanity
Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures
Neda Atanasoski, Kalindi Vora
Surrogate Humanity traces the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy.
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Foucault in California
A True Story -- Wherein the Great French Philosopher Drops Acid in the Valley of Death
Simeon Wade
Part search for higher consciousness, part bacchanal, this book chronicles a young man's burgeoning friendship with one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers.
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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
Shoshana Zuboff
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.
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The Universal Machine
Fred Moten
A suite of three essays on Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, and Frantz Fanon, concluding Fred Moten's trilogy consent not to be a single being. (Recommended by Michael)
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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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Pictures of a Gone City
Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area
Richard Walker
This exploration begins by tracing the concentration of IT in Greater Silicon Valley and the resulting growth in start-ups, jobs, and wealth. This is followed by a look at the new working class of color and the millions earning poverty wages. The middle chapters survey the urban scene, including the housing bubble and the newly exploded metropolis.
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Guy Debord
Anselm Jappe
The first and best intellectual biography of Guy Debord, prime mover of the Situationist International (1957–1972).
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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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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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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams
Mark Dery
"I must not think bad thoughts. I must not think bad thoughts." These lyrics by the band X have been my mantra on many occasions as I trudged my way here and there. Lucky for us that Mark Dery goes deep into the territories that many of us shun, illuminating the absurdity, humor and truths found on the dark side. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights

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