"Defining their enterprise as more in the direction of poetics than of prosaics, the Comaroffs free themselves to analyze a vivid series of images and events as objects of analysis. These they mine for clues to the 19th-century contents of the British imagination and of Tswana minds. They are themselves imagining the imagination of others, and they do the job with characteristic aplomb....The first volume creates an appetite for the second."—Sally Falk Moore, American Anthropologist
In the second of a proposed three-volume study, John and Jean Comaroff continue their exploration of colonial evangelism and modernity in South Africa. Moving beyond the opening moments of the encounter between the British Nonconformist missions and the Southern Tswana peoples, Of Revelation and Revolution, Volume II, explores the complex transactions—both epic and ordinary—among the various dramatis personae along this colonial frontier.
The Comaroffs trace many of the major themes of twentieth-century South African history back to these formative encounters. The relationship between the British evangelists and the Southern Tswana engendered complex exchanges of goods, signs, and cultural markers that shaped not only African existence but also bourgeois modernity "back home" in England. We see, in this volume, how the colonial attempt to "civilize" Africa set in motion a dialectical process that refashioned the everyday lives of all those drawn into its purview, creating hybrid cultural forms and potent global forces which persist in the postcolonial age.
This fascinating study shows how the initiatives of the colonial missions collided with local traditions, giving rise to new cultural practices, new patterns of production and consumption, new senses of style and beauty, and new forms of class distinction and ethnicity. As noted by reviewers of the first volume, the Comaroffs have succeeded in providing a model for the study of colonial encounters. By insisting on its dialectical nature, they demonstrate that colonialism can no longer be seen as a one-sided relationship between the conquering and the conquered. It is, rather, a complex system of reciprocal determinations, one whose legacy is very much with us today.
The Old Regime and the Revolution is Alexis de Tocqueville's great meditation on the origins and meanings of the French Revolution. One of the most profound and influential studies of this pivotal event, it remains a relevant and stimulating discussion of the problem of preserving individual and political freedom in the modern world. Alan Kahan's translation provides a faithful, readable rendering of Tocqueville's last masterpiece, and includes notes and variants which reveal Tocqueville's sources and include excerpts from his drafts and revisions. The introduction by France's most eminent scholars of Tocqueville and the French Revolution, Françoise Mélonio and the late François Furet, provides a brilliant analysis of the work.
With his monumental work The Old Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)-best known for his classic Democracy in America— envisioned a multivolume philosophic study of the origins of modern France that would examine the implications of French history on the nature and development of democratic society. Volume 1, which covered the eighteenth-century background to the Revolution, was published to great acclaim in 1856. On the continuation of this project, he wrote: "When this Revolution has finished its work, [this volume] will show what that work really was, and what the new society which has come from that violent labor is, what the Revolution has taken away and what it has preserved from that old regime against which it was directed."
Tocqueville died in the midst of this work. Here in volume 2—in clear, up-to-date English—is all that he had completed, including the chapters he started for a work on Napoleon, notes and analyses he made in the course of researching and writing the first volume, and his notes on his preparation for his continuation. Based on the new French edition of The Old Regime, most of the translated texts have never before appeared in English, and many of those that have appeared have been considerable altered. More than ever before, readers will be able to see how Tocqueville's account of the Revolution would have come out, had he lived to finish it. This handsomely produced volume completes the set and is essential reading for anyone interested in the French Revolution or in Tocqueville's thought.
In 2014 Sonya Bilocerkowycz is a tourist at a deadly revolution. At first she is enamored with the Ukrainians’ idealism, which reminds her of her own patriotic family. But when the romantic revolution melts into a war with Russia, she becomes disillusioned, prompting a return home to the US and the diaspora community that raised her. As the daughter of a man who studies Ukrainian dissidents for a living, the granddaughter of war refugees, and the great-granddaughter of a gulag victim, Bilocerkowycz has inherited a legacy of political oppression. But what does it mean when she discovers a missing page from her family’s survival story—one that raises questions about her own guilt?
In these linked essays, Bilocerkowycz invites readers to meet a swirling cast of post-Soviet characters, including a Russian intelligence officer who finds Osama bin Laden a few weeks after 9/11; a Ukrainian poet whose nose gets broken by Russian separatists; and a long-lost relative who drives a bus into the heart of Chernobyl. On Our Way Home from the Revolution muddles our easy distinctions between innocence and culpability, agency and fate.
A two-part essay on the “myth” of revolution and the figure of the artist.
Iconic French novelist, playwright, and essayist Jean-Paul Sartre is widely recognized as one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, and his work has remained relevant and thought-provoking through the decades. The Seagull Sartre Library now presents some of his most incisive philosophical, cultural, and literary critical essays in twelve newly designed and affordable editions.
On Revolution consists of a long essay in two parts in which Sartre dwells upon the “myth” of revolution and goes on to analyze revolutionary ideas in fascism and, especially, Marxism. In the second essay, Sartre examines the figure of the artist and his conscience, especially in relation to communism.
Caleb Smith explores the confessions, trial reports, maledictions, and martyr narratives that juxtaposed law and conscience in antebellum America’s court of public opinion and shows how writers portrayed struggles for justice as clashes between human law and higher authority, giving voice to a moral protest that transformed American literature.