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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Empire of Illusion
The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Chris Hedges
Pulitzer prize–winner Chris Hedges charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy and illusion. Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based...
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The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
Rebecca Solnit
The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed, prizewinning books of nonfiction including Men Explain Things To Me, brings the same dazzling writing to the essays in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
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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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Fear and Trembling
Soren Kierkegaard
The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history’s most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights...
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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 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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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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A Little History of Philosophy
Nigel Warburton
Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them...
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A Lover's Discourse
Fragments
Roland Barthes
A Lover’s Discourse, at its 1978 publication, was revolutionary: Roland Barthes made unprecedented use of the tools of structuralism to explore the whimsical phenomenon of love. Rich with references ranging from Goethe’s Werther to Winnicott, from...
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Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
"The literary output of Albert Camus was exceptionally concentrated and well organized, so that each part of it throws light on the other parts.... Here now, for the first time in a complete English translation, we have Camus' three little volumes of...
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Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation
Paolo Virno
The publication of Paolo Virno's first book in English, A Grammar of the Multitude, by Semiotext(e) in 2004 was an event within the field of radical political thought and introduced post-'68 currents in Italy to American readers. Multitude between...
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The Myth of Sisyphus
And Other Essays
Albert Camus
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest– whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether..
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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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