Category Archives: Books & Articles

The Socialist Minimum

What would it take to build a global challenge to neoliberal capitalism? How might socialists from different countries join together and devise collective solutions to problems that transcend national borders? Talbot C. Imlay provides a historical answer to these questions in his important new book The Practice of Socialist Internationalism: European Socialists and International Politics, […]

Inflatable Marx

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. Gareth Stedman Jones’ recent biography, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion, gives us the chance to take stock of Marx’s legacy. Do his theories still speak to our twenty-first century world? Stedman Jones doesn’t think so. My review essay in H-Ideas reconstructs the book’s arguments in […]

Historians of the World, Adapt?

Professors Jo Guldi and David Armitage threw down the scholarly gauntlet six months ago when they published their bold appeal to rescue History from the “bonfire of the humanities.” The History Manifesto claims that the discipline’s descent into public irrelevance has resulted from current historical scholarship’s lack of long-term thinking. Citing statistics that show a precipitous […]

Dr. Pangloss on Science and the Humanities

Steven Pinker’s latest article in The New Republic seems designed to enrage the very audience that it wants to assuage: “neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians.” In seeking to convince these hardy defenders of the humanities that modern science is not in fact the enemy, Dr. Pangloss, er, Pinker paints a rosy picture of our […]

Article Fever: On Scholarly Reading

The archive, Jacques Derrida tells us in his 1995 book Archive Fever, “is not only the stockroom and the conservatory for archivable contents of the past which would exist in any case, and just the same, without the archive. [. . .] No, the technical structure of the archiving archive also determines [both] the structure […]

Brooks’ “Practical University”

In his latest New York Times editorial, David Brooks encourages online education companies to impart not only technical knowledge but also what he calls “practical knowledge.” The “practical [online] university” of the future, he claims, should not only teach students what to do, i.e. technical skills, but also how to apply those skills in a […]

What Darwin and Turing Missed

In a recent article for The Atlantic, the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett compares the work of computer pioneer Alan Turing to Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection. What both Darwin and Turing realized, argues Dennett, was that the operations of any complex system can be reduced to the apparently mindless repetition of its individual […]