Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence

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Verso, 2006 - Political Science - 168 pages
3 Reviews
In her most impassioned and personal book to date, Judith Butler responds in this profound appraisal of post-9/11 America to the current US policies to wage perpetual war, and calls for a deeper understanding of how mourning and violence might instead inspire solidarity and a quest for global justice.
 

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She makes compelling argument and her writing is more accessible than a lot of political theory (albeit repetitive and a little dramatic), but the evidence and examples she uses to substantiate her argument are largely not cited and range from over simplified and overstated to outright incorrect. The theories are well used, but take the 'facts' and information with a grain of salt. It is not terribly academic, just her take take on the situation as she understood it. I have read other work by Butler that I found far more impressive; if you are new to reading Butler, start with something else.  

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Contents

EXPLANATION AND EXONERATION OR WHAT WE CAN HEAR
1
VIOLENCE MOURNING POLITICS
19
INDEFINITE DETENTION
50
THE CHARGE OF ANTISEMITISM JEWS ISRAEL AND THE RISKS OF PUBLIC CRITIQUE
101
PRECARIOUS LIFE
128
NOTES
153
INDEX
163
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About the author (2006)

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 Zizek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.

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