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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The Absence of Myth
Writings on Surrealism
Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille was one of the most provocative and controversial writers of his time. These essays, the result of profound reflection in the wake of World War II, comprise his most incisive study of surrealism, insisting on its importance as a...
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Achieving Our Country
Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America
Richard Rorty
Required reading for any progressive American. Here, Rorty plots the philosophical underpinnings of American liberalism, points out its past pitfalls, and predicts the coming of the Obama movement: a wave of progressives who work together to change...
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Aesthetics and Politics
Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Lukacs
An intense and lively debate on literature and art between thinkers who became some of the great figures of twentieth-century philosophy and literature. No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to...
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The Chomsky-Foucault Debate
On Human Nature
Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault
Two of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers debate a perennial question.In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War and at a time of great political and social instability, two of the world's leading intellectuals, Noam Chomsky and Michel...
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Discipline & Punish
The Birth of the Prison
Michel Foucault
At the end of 2006, the United States had approximately 7.2 million people who were either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. Our society's propensity for punishment and justice has manifested into the modern prison system, arguably...
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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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Flaneuse
Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
The "flaneur" has long been explicitly gendered male, but we city women know better. Elkin delves into the history of both the term and the act itself through literature, film, cultural criticism, and her own experience, leaving no doubt that a woman walking alone in the city has been—and still is—a subversive figure.—Recommended by Erin
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The Gift of Death, Second Edition & Literature in Secret
Jacques Derrida
The Gift of Death, Jacques Derrida's most sustained consideration of religion, explores questions first introduced in his book Given Time about the limits of the rational and responsible that one reaches in granting or accepting death, whether by...
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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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The History of Sexuality
An Introduction, Volume 1
Michel Foucault
The author turns his attention to sex and the reasons why we are driven constantly to analyze and discuss it. An iconoclastic explanation of modern sexual...
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A History of Western Philosophy
Bertrand Russell
Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell's A History of Western Philosophy has been universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject -- unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace and...
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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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Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors
Susan Sontag
In l978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a classic work described by Newsweek as "one of the most liberating books of its time." A cancer patient herself when she was writing the book, Sontag shows how the metaphors and myths surrounding...
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Illuminations
Essays and Reflections
Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt
Walter Benjamin was one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century. Illuminations includes his views on Kafka, with whom he felt a close personal affinity; his studies on Baudelaire and Proust; and his essays on Leskov and on...

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