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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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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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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Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton
Through original interviews, conversations, surveys, projects, diagrams and drawings from over six hundred contributors—including Miranda July, Cindy Sherman, Elif Batuman, Mac McClelland, Lena Dunham, Molly Ringwald, Tavi Gevinson, Rachel Kushner, Roxane Gay and Sarah Nicole Prickett... —Recommended by Layla and Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Why Does the World Exist?
An Existential Detective Story
Jim Holt
In this astonishing and profound work, an irreverent sleuth traces the riddle of existence from the ancient world to modern times. Whether framed philosophically as "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" or more colloquially as...
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The Gift
Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Lewis Hyde
By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. Widely available again after twenty-five years, this...
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The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961...
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Sade
A Sudden Abyss
Annie Le Brun
The literary adventure of D.A.F. (1740-1814) is unique and paradoxical. He was widely read in the nineteenth century, but his books disappeared almost completely from circulation in the century. Meanwhile the exegesis of Sade poured from the presses...
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The Story of Stuff
The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better
Annie Leonard
Americans have way too much Stuff , and way too much of it is toxic. That’s the message Annie Leonard has been spreading ever since her college days, and most recently in her short Internet film The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed by over 12...
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Many Subtle Channels
In Praise of Potential Literature
Daniel Levin Becker
This book presents us with Oulipo—the mischievous group of writers whose obsession with words knows no limits. Levin Becker expertly describes the members of the group, each one uniquely working to devise linguistic puzzles to write within.
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The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory
David Macey
The most up-to-date and authoritative introduction to critical theory available, this acclaimed dictionary provides an ideal overview of the full range of theories, schools of thought, and theorists. Whether it's Arendt or Woolf, object relations or...
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Beyond Good & Evil
Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Friedrich Nietzsche
Represents Nietzsche's attempt to sum up his philosophy. In nine parts the book is designed to give the reader a comprehensive idea of Nietzche's thought and style. With an inclusive index of subjects and...
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Beyond Good and Evil
Friedrich Nietzsche
This work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a "slave morality." With wit and energy, he tur
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Friends, Followers and the Future
How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media
Rory O'Connor
Award-winning journalist Rory O'Connor explores how social media is transforming not only politics, media, and business, but every aspect of how we live.
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Susan Sontag
Essays of the 1960s & 70s
Susan Sontag, David Rieff
With the publication of her first book, Against Interpretation, in 1966, Susan Sontag placed herself at the forefront of an era of cultural and political transformation. "What is important now," she wrote, "is to recover our senses . . . . In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art." She would remain a catalyzing presence, whether...

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