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Commonwealth 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674035119
ISBN-10: 0674035119
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Everyone seems to agree that our economic system is broken, yet the debate about alternatives remains oppressively narrow. Hardt and Negri explode this claustrophobic debate, taking readers to the deepest roots of our current crises and proposing radical, and deeply human, solutions. There has never been a better time for this book. (Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine)

Commonwealth, last and richest of the Empire trilogy, is a powerful and ambitious reappropriation of the whole tradition of political theory for the Left. Clarifying Foucault's ambiguous notion of biopower, deepening the authors' own proposal for the notion of multitude, it offers an exhilarating summa of the forms and possibilities of resistance today. It is a politically as well as an intellectually invigorating achievement. (Fredric Jameson, Duke University)

Commonwealth [is] the latest book by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, whose Empire and Multitude have, arguably, been the dominant works of political philosophy of the new century...[It's] the much-anticipated final volume of the Empire trilogy. (Artforum 2009-10-01)

Commonwealth is a timely contribution to our understanding of contemporary capitalist relations and the potential revolutionary conditions they create...Together Hardt and Negri's work is considered to be responsible for a resurgence of interest in non-orthodox Marxism and its political manifestations. Commonwealth is the final part of a trilogy that began with Empire in 2000, a book that was published during the emergence of the alter-globalization movement. Multitude followed in 2004, developing the ideas that had been introduced in Empire, in particular the concept of the multitude as a new revolutionary subject. Commonwealth is a worthy addition to the trilogy, expamnding and clarifying on the understandings in the previous books, but perhaps more significantly grounding their analysis within an extended discussion of "the common."...Commonwealth is a book that challenges presuppositions about the utility of Marx, and introduces the possibility of combining his insights with the ideas of other significant authors such as Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, who are not traditionally associated with the radical communist project. (Bertie Russell and Andre Pusey Red Pepper 2010-04-01)

About the Author

Michael Hardt is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University.

Antonio Negri is an independent researcher and writer. He has been a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Paris and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Padua.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674035119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674035119
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When "Empire" came out in 2000, it changed the way we view the international distribution of power, it provided a new framework and vocabulary with which to understand the world. "Multitude" provided us with the other side of the equation - the global silent majority infused with latent demands for a new world. This third installment points the way forward - how to put those demands for liberation into practice.

Ignore any reviews that bash this book as another totalitarian iteration of Marxism - it is far from it. The Left has long needed some serious conceptual reworking of our basic presuppositions and ideas, and this book goes a long way to rethinking society as it is, recognizing the emancipatory energy to be found in it, and prescribing what to do with it. Read it, think about it, talk about it, organize.
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Format: Paperback
Hardt and Negri unfortunately fail to answer this most excellent question. In that they are on solid ground, for Marx never presumed to tell the workers how to organize either, but their analysis is quite provocative. I have been following Negri's trajectory as an engaged intellectual since the early Eighties, and I usually find his writings to be valuable imagination pumps.

Antonio Negri has been since the Sixties a leading proponent of autonomist marxism, and this multivarious tendency has always defied categorization along the traditional Reform (Bernstein)/Revolution (Lenin) axis. Following on from council communism, autonomist marxists reject both the reformism of electoral politics and the centralized Marxist-Leninist party organizing for a seizure of state power. Autonomous practice looks more like anarchism than the traditional marxism of either reformist social democracy or "revolutionary" vanguard party-ism. But it is based on unorthodox marxist class analysis rather than in anti-authoritarianism per se or on identity politics.

In his collaboration with Michael Hardt, including the trilogy Empire (2000), Multitude (2004), and COMMONWEALTH (2009), Negri continues to develop the same basic ideas of autonomy he has been arguing since the late Sixties, but moves ever further from standard marxist concepts. In the last pages of
...Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Regardless of one's political views (myself a risk professional in the realm of global capital), Hardt and Negri's work is a remarkably vital, anticipatory and accurate analysis of the evolution of capital. For the more libertarian reader, I'd still strongly recommend the Empire, Multitude, Commonwealth "trilogy" given the significant accuracy of analysis the authors provide which is a necessary study regardless of ideology and advocacy. Capital is indeed becoming post-capital, infusing the cultural values brought forward through critical theory and postmodernism, and is increasingly anticipatory of poststructural thought. For those of us involved in the analysis and formation of corporate strategic thinking, these trends and their systemic ramifications are a necessary study.

I'd have to believe that a Fordist business person of the early 20th century would find the entire region of the humanities, critical theory, postmodernity, ethics, etc. to be a complete waste of time, yet as such, they would have complete difficulty in understanding our (post)modern workplace where differences are not only tolerated, but increasingly embraced given the intersubjective perceptual strength such multiplicities of difference bring toward product creation, marketing innovation, risk management, etc. From the perspective of Hardt and Negri's work, all three are necessary for the thoughtful, ethical professional (regardless of political or economic ideology) in the evaluation of the global system emerging.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book by Hardt & Negri is excelent and I'm not going to go into its academic value per se -- enough has been said here as to how good it is. I would like however to comment on the REALLY POOR QUALITY of the Kindle edition: not only the notes have no link - making it impossible to access them while reading the text proper - but there are a number of hyphenated words (that were probably in the end of a line in the paper book), leading one to believe the editors merely converted the pdf archive to the ebook format, without any regard to a proper revision and to reading experience. It is by far one of the worst Kindle editions I've come across so far, but, nonetheless, it cost $12, while the paperback goes for $15 - and I can imagine it's much better edited. I have to say that, if I lived in the US, I would go for the paperback edition and would put up a fight every time I spent my hard earned money in such a scam. Lucky for Amazon and the editors, the book is so good all else becomes irrelevant...
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