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The Year of Dreaming Dangerously Paperback – October 9, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1781680421 ISBN-10: 1781680426 Edition: 1st

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The Year of Dreaming Dangerously + Demanding the Impossible + The Sublime Object of Ideology (The Essential Zizek)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781680426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781680421
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Such passion, in a man whose work forms a bridge between the minutiae of popular culture and the big abstract problems of existence, is invigorating, entertaining and expanding inquiring minds around the world.”—Daily Telegraph

“A great provocateur and an immensely suggestive and even dashing writer ... Žižek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.”—Los Angeles Times

“The thinker of choice for Europe’s young intellectual vanguard.”—Sean O’Hagan, Observer

“Žižek’s ingenious handling of culture, films, philosophy, intellectual history, personal stories, daily politics, combined with a politically incorrect wit (especially in his lectures) is truly enjoyable. This at times overwhelming combination of ideas remains unmatched in the contemporary intellectual scene.”—Christian Lotz, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

“[Žižek highlights] exciting trends in class-organization, political consciousness, cooperation, and struggle ... [and] frames various victories as ‘signs from the future’ so the necessity of inner subjective engagement with social struggle becomes clear.”—Book News

“His ability to fuse together Martin Heidegger’s ‘fundamental ontology,’ Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’ and Naomi Klein’s ‘shock doctrine’ in order to undermine our liberal and tolerant democratic structures is a practice few intellectuals are capable of.”—Al Jazeera

About the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.

More About the Author

"The most dangerous philosopher in the West," (says Adam Kirsch of The New Republic) Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include "First as Tragedy, Then as Farce;" "Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle;" "In Defense of Lost Causes;" "Living in the End Times;" and many more.

Customer Reviews

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His sociopathic hero is found in Shakespeare's Coriolanus.
Hans G. Despain
When people face an uncertain situation, they don't carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics.
Jay P
It feels great to plow through a book that both brief, pointed, and intellectual.
g.p.g.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Peripatetic Reader on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Journalists, activists, newsmen, radio celebrities, scholars, freelancers, even politicians have written books about the turbulent political events of 2011, the so-called Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Many of these books quickly have become dated; the events in the former are still unfolding and the meaning of the latter is still not ascertainable. However, it is possible to take a historical snapshot of these two events, make a philosophical analysis under Marxian/Socialist principles, and still come out with a cogent historical explanation of their meaning which far surpasses a surface treatment by, say, the Brookings Institution. Briefly, this is Slavoj Zizek's interpretation of these epochal events.

Slavoj Zizek has been called "the most dangerous philosopher" in the West. He earned this moniker from the insight of his observations, the precision of his thought, and the incisiveness of his discourse. He receives this moniker from his analytic method, exhibited in this thin, but insightful, volume, of discussing philosophical or political issues through cultural icons. What other philosopher would engage into a discussion about the difference between reality and the real by analyzing The Wire? Who else would liken a good Bolshevik as having the Russian determination, American pragmatism and the innocent, malicious joy of Homer Simpson?

Zizek attempts to do two things with this book. On the one hand, he gives his perspective of the momentous events of 2011, the so-called Arab Spring, the London Urban Riots, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. On the other hand, but before discussing these events, he gives his assessment of this historical moment after the economic downturn of 2007 - 2008.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hans G. Despain on December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Slavioj Zizek newest book, _The Year of Dreaming Dangerously_, was written simultaneously with his magnum opus _Less Than Nothing_. Although _Less Than Nothing_ is a far more philosophical accomplishment, _The Year of Dreaming Dangerously_ will surely attract a far greater readership. The book offers an impressive introduction to the political philosophy of Zizek, centered around a journalistic presentation and an otherwise philosophical analysis, and cultural critique of `the [global] event' of 2011.

Slavoj Zizek is an important political and cultural critic. Recently he has developed a strong interest in establishing his philosophical roots, from Hegel, to Marx, and onto Lacan (see his Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism). Zizek's reading of Hegel and Marx in "Less Than Nothing" is highly unique, directly aimed at demonstrating, first how the ideas of Hegel, Marx, and Lacan are relevant for understanding and mending the quadruple crisis we currently find the world (i.e. socio-economic, political (war, terrorism, protest), environmental, and personal (anxiety, fear, depression, not to mention unemployment, hunger)). Second he demonstrates how the Hegelian dialectic happens.

Nonetheless, I find "Less Than Nothing" a bit disorienting, a type of 'adolescent Hegelianism' (in contrast to the time honored "Old" versus "Young" Hegelian divide). I haven't made up mind about "Less than Nothing," surely it will become essential reading for Zizek supporters and critics alike.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Critic and philosopher Slavoj Zizek gathers his thoughts about last year's resistance to capitalism and globalization. They comprise loosely topical, often rambling and discursive chapters "outlining the contours of its hegemonic ideology, focusing on the reactionary phenomena (populist revolts in particular) that arise in reaction to social antagonisms". These themes segue into "the two great emancipatory movements of 2011--the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street" and then a discussion of The Wire. These sections consider how to fight the system's power without furthering its dominance.

The earlier selections float about ethnic tension, culture clash, and Western distrust of fundamentalist dogma. None of this discussion will be unfamiliar to his audience. Zizek roams around the wreckage of capitalism and the attempts to counter its damage. Marxian critiques dominate, although Zizek realizes that whatever (utopia shimmers behind the flames vaguely) can replace today's monolithic structure flits away, frustratingly for the reader if less so for him--as a veteran Slovene provocateur. Lacan, Jameson, Chesterton, Lenin, Rand, Hegel: the range of sometimes disparate thinkers intrigues, but the level of most of these contents prefers academic terms. The second sentence of the book's second paragraph embeds "a Greimasian semiotic square" with neither context nor apology.

However, clearer phrasing emerges for a patient reader. As in his previous work, he challenges the status quo yet, similar to street activists, sidesteps what must be done for practical reform. Hints of violence, overthrow, and revolution lurk, but peer out nearly rarely, as in the end of his Occupy chapter: "Is there a name for this reinvented democracy beyond the multi-party representational system?
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