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 System of Objects
Jean Baudrillard
A cultural critique of the commodity in consumer society, The System of Objects is a tour de force—a theoretical letter-in-a-bottle tossed into the ocean in 1968, which brilliantly communicates to us all the live ideas of the...
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A Thousand Plateaus
Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Brian Massumi
A Thousand Plateaus continues the work Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari began in Anti-Oedipus and has now become established as one of the classic studies of the development of critical theory in the late twentieth century.
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Unfathomable City
A New Orleans Atlas
Rebecca Solnit, Rebecca Snedeker
Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and...
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Violence
Big Ideas/Small Books
Slavoj Žižek
Philosopher, cultural critic, and agent provocateur Slavoj Žižek constructs a fascinating new framework to look at the forces of violence in our world. Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines...
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Walter Benjamin
A Critical Life
Howard Eiland, Michael W. Jennings
Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings--mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology--defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers.
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Walter Benjamin
An Introduction to His Work and Thought
Uwe Steiner
Seven decades after his death, German Jewish writer, philosopher, and literary critic Walter Benjamin continues to fascinate and influence. Here Uwe Steiner offers a comprehensive and sophisticated introduction to the oeuvre of this intriguing theorist.
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Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht
The Story of a Friendship
Erdmut Wizisla
Erdmut Wizisla's groundbreaking work explores for the first time the important friendship between Walter Benjamin, the acclaimed critic and literary theorist, and Bertolt Brecht, one of the twentieth century's most influential theater artists and poets, during the crucial interwar years in Berlin.
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Walter Benjamin
The Story of a Friendship
Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem is celebrated as the twentieth century's most profound student of the Jewish mystical tradition; Walter Benjamin, as a master thinker whose extraordinary essays mix the revolutionary, the revelatory, and the esoteric. Scholem was a precocious teenager when he met Benjamin, who became his close friend and intellectual mentor.
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Walter Benjamin's Grave
Michael Taussig
In September 1940, Walter Benjamin committed suicide in Port Bou on the Spanish-French border when it appeared that he and his travelling partners would be denied passage into Spain in their attempt to escape the Nazis. In 2002, one of...
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Wanderlust
A History of Walking
Rebecca Solnit
Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking.
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Ways of Seeing
Based on the BBC Television Series
John Berger
John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series...
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White Girls
Hilton Als
It is, simply put, a privilege to spend time with a writer like Hilton Als. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Who We Be
The Colorization of America
Jeff Chang
Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope...
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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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