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The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory

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ISBN-13: 978-0691114040
ISBN-10: 0691114048
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"How do we argue now? Vigorously and with vim, if Amanda Anderson's new book is any indication. Anderson worries that the poststructuralist critique of reason, together with identity politics' sociological reductionism, threatens to undermine our capacity to argue, but she puts the lie to her own concern in this well-argued book. And she gives her readers much to argue with. We should all rise to her challenge and respond to this book in ways that participate in, extend, and (dare I say it?) trouble the culture of argument that Anderson here seeks to promote and surely exemplifies."--Bonnie Honig, Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University and senior research fellow, American Bar Foundation

"An intellectual achievement of the first rank and the work of a powerful and independent mind. We are invited to rethink the premises of contemporary theory in a manner that is invigorating and eye-opening. Anderson's own incisive contribution to the culture of argument will surely change the way many people think."--Rita Felski, University of Virginia, author of Literature after Feminism

"This book addresses a broad range of controverted subjects with great tact, generosity, and persuasive force. Its readers, whatever their theoretical allegiance, will have to acknowledge this accomplishment. It is rare to read so intelligent and thought-provoking a book as this."--John Guillory, New York University, author of Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation

"A shrewd and witty dissection of contemporary academic theory's discontents. Anderson's anti-anti-Enlightenment argument serves as a refreshing antidote to the symptomatic prejudices of our age."--Nancy Fraser, Henry A.and Louise Loeb Professor, Graduate Faculty, New School

About the Author

Amanda Anderson is the Caroline Donovan Professor of English Literature and Department Chair at Johns Hopkins University. Her books include "The Powers of Distance: Cosmopolitanism and the Cultivation of Detachment" (Princeton) and "Tainted Souls and Painted Faces: The Rhetoric of Fallenness in Victorian Culture".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691114048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691114040
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Schowen on June 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is indespensable for those engaged in literary criticism, cultural studies, and political/social theory. Anderson's book is theoretically dense and her writing reflects this. This is not a quick or simple read, and without some background in the above fields, it probably won't make much sense. That said, her arguments are complex, well-reasoned, and clearly defined. Perforce, I doubt one would fully agree with all of Anderson's assertions, but her depth and clarity of insight serve as springboards with which to launch new, more critical investigations into the debates of the contemporary cultures of theory and by extension, the living project of contemporary theoretical perspectives. Highly recommended because even if you don't agree with it, it will make you think.
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