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Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence Reprint Edition

4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1844675449
ISBN-10: 1844675440
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It’s clear that its author is still interested in stirring up trouble—academic, political and otherwise.”—Bookforum

“A book that shines with the splendor of engaged thought.”—Brooklyn Rail

“Here is a unique voice of courage and conceptual ambition that addresses public life from the perspective of psychic reality, encouraging us to acknowledge the solidarity and the suffering through which we emerge as subjects of freedom.”—Homi K. Bhabha

“Judith Butler is quite simply one of the most probing, challenging, and influential thinkers of our time.”—J.M. Bernstein

About the Author

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Frames of War, Precarious Life, The Psychic Life of Power, Excitable Speech, Bodies that Matter, Gender Trouble, and with Slavoj Žižek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Reprint edition (August 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675449
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amy E. Story on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of Butler's most accessible books, this is a phenomenally interesting and beautifully written investigation into human vulnerability and loss. Butler uses the political circumstances of the historical moment in which the book was written--just post 9/11, detainment of insurgents in Guantanamo Bay, and the crisis in the Middle East--to uncover the nature of human interdependency and to theorize what a political practice that takes such interdependency and vulnerability to others seriously might look like. While her examples might become slightly dated over time, her Levinasian analysis of the meaning of being human and of the kind of political and moral work needed to achieve true global peace will stand despite the passage of time. One note of criticism--some chapters are long and can get a little tedious after the first half of the book.
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By Venus Project on September 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
Great read that shows the hypocrisy in how people value human life. Should make people challenge their notions about war and intervening around the world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This may be Butler's most accessible book. I would recommend it to generalist readers interested in contemporary political philosophy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this for a college course, and I decided to keep it after I finished that project.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book yesterday and just ate it up. It's not the usual esoteric examination by Butler. (Not that anything is wrong with that and I've read her other work, as well).

That said, the book is written for a lay audience and I think that this book needed to be published, since the responses of feminists to or after Sept 11th have been far and few. (Aftershock is a great book to read about Sept 11th from a feminist point of view).

I can't pinpoint what my favourite section of the book was, however, I enjoyed it all. It was refreshing to see a political theorist write about something "real" that is taking place today that many are discussing or living through.

This is a wonderful addition to her writing repertoire. I do hope to see her write more for a lay audience, since hopefully they will get their curiosity piqued and read more Butler.
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