review

A bequest from the barricades

I was gripped by this book. I enjoyed it partly because it tells my own story – and who can resist their own story? Or rather (because only I can tell my own story), it tells the author’s story of a series of events and of a movement that I was part of. Namely: that wave of North American and European counter-summit protests that emerged with the mobilisation against the WTO in Seattle in November 1999 (or possibly with the ‘Carnival Against Capital’ in London a few months earlier), and then waxed and waned over the course of the following eight years or so.

The right to the city as an anti-capitalist struggle

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution is a book that draws on the very interesting idea, initially proposed by Henri Lefebvre in 1968, about the need for a renewed and transformed urban life. Lefebvre dubbed this need for transformation of the urban landscape and life ‘right to the city’: a right that those producing and sustaining the city lack and must fight to claim.

Life beyond work

In The problem with work, Kathi Weeks issues a clarion call for the abandonment of moralistic pro-work politics. Rather than better work or better wages, Weeks asks us to imagine a life beyond work and the wage. Part polemic, part philosophical rumination, part political program, The problem with work revives neglected strands of Marxist analysis, including demands for less work or no work, demands for wages for housework, and demands for a basic income.

The Christie phenomenon

‘Aunt Betsey’, announces Christie as she prepares to leave home as a young lady in her late teens, ‘there’s going to be a new Declaration of Independence’. She means a declaration of her own independence as she decides that she is coming of age and is, ‘…going to take care of myself’, thereafter finding employment as a servant, actress, governess, companion (in the old fashioned sense), and seamstress, pursuing a feminist search for survival and fulfillment that symbolically is still going on.

How I learned to stop worrying and love finance

Despite my dislike of the topic, I began to nose around it with a mixture of repugnance and fascination, like a substance abuser circling around the long-denied admission of his own addiction. (Powers, 2005: 614).

How can I recognize this forbiddingly foreign totality as my own doing, how may I appropriate it and make it my own handiwork and acknowledge its laws as my own projection and my own praxis? (Jameson, 2009: 608).

A tall tale

Contextualization

Migration, integration and activism in Ireland

Migrant activism and integration from below in Ireland brings an original perspective to Irish migration studies by providing an in-depth exploration of migrant associations in contemporary Ireland. This book makes an important contribution to Irish migration studies by focusing on the role of migrant-led organizations as vehicles of social change and integration. Given the isolation often associated with the migration experience, organizations and associations can be seen as providing a vital social link for migrants in contemporary Ireland.

Compassion and contradictions in the world of creative knowledge work

The book Authority and autonomy: Paradoxes in modern knowledge work (hereafter referred to as A&A) is written by Susanne Ekman, assistant professor at the Department of Organization at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. With a background in anthropology and management, Ekman’s ethnographically informed study of media companies in Denmark is a useful contribution to our understanding of the role passion plays as a driving force in the performance and management of creative knowledge work.

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