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Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left / Edition 1

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Overview

Renowned critical theorist Susan Buck-Morss argues convincingly that a global public needs to think past the twin insanities of terrorism and counter-terrorism in order to dismantle regressive intellectual barriers. Surveying the widespread literature on the relationship of Islam to modernity, she reveals that there is surprising overlap where scholars commonly and simplistically see antithesis. Thinking Past Terror situates this engagement with the study of Islam among critical contemporary discourses—feminism, post-colonialism and the critique of determinism.

Reminding us powerfully that domination and consensus are maintained not by the lack of opposing ideas but by the disorganization of dissent, Thinking Past Terror presents the empowering idea of a global counter-culture as a very real possibility. If the language of a global, radically cosmopolitan Left is not presumed but its attainment struggled for, if the Leftist project is itself this struggle, then democracy defines its very core.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Susan Buck-Morss enables us to discover the Islamists as our neighbours: neither as fundamentalist fanatics unable to cope with modernity, nor as the exotic authentic Other, but as people sharing the same global predicament as ourselves. Based on this insight, she breaks out of the boring multiculturalist problematic of respect for and openness towards the Other, shifting the focus to the common struggle in which we should all participate beyond the cultural divide. If this book is not allowed to explode in political debates, the contemporary Left can close the store and erase itself as a relevant political agent!”—Slavoj Žižek

“With one act of outrageous theoretical intervention, Susan Buck-Morss surpasses the thick psychological barrier that has for a long time discouraged critical theorists from thinking creatively in an Islamist context. She now joins her colleagues from the other side of the divide, Muslim intellectuals who also for quite some time have tried to converse with critical theory. Thinking Past Terror is the inaugural site of a creative conversation that is no longer limited to a disciplinary and area specialists and marks the commencement of a critical discourse on the most vital issues of our terrorized times.”—Hamid Dabashi

Bookwatch
Thoughtfully and insightfully written... Thinking Past Terror looks forward to the goal of a cosmopolitan Left that can find unity and strength to remain viable in ever-changing times.
Bookforum
This is a highly appealing scenario of communication producing and illuminating dissent.
Clamor
An insightful and important new edition to critical theory for our century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859845851
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 6/19/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Buck-Morss is Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory at Cornell University. She is the author of Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project and The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt Institute.
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