COMMUNAL LUXURY: THE POLITICAL IMAGINARY OF THE PARIS COMMUNE by Kristin Ross

Communal Luxury.jpg
Communal Luxury.jpg

COMMUNAL LUXURY: THE POLITICAL IMAGINARY OF THE PARIS COMMUNE by Kristin Ross

6.00

156 PAGES
©2015
Verso Books

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Reclaiming the legacy of the Paris Commune for the twenty-first century

Kristin Ross’s new work on the thought and culture of the Communard uprising of 1871 resonates with the motivations and actions of contemporary protest, which has found its most powerful expression in the reclamation of public space. Today’s concerns—internationalism, education, the future of labor, the status of art, and ecological theory and practice—frame and inform her carefully researched restaging of the words and actions of individual Communards. This original analysis of an event and its centrifugal effects brings to life the workers in Paris who became revolutionaries, the significance they attributed to their struggle, and the elaboration and continuation of their thought in the encounters that transpired between the insurrection’s survivors and supporters like Marx, Kropotkin, and William Morris.

The Paris Commune was a laboratory of political invention, important simply and above all for, as Marx reminds us, its own “working existence.” Communal Luxuryallows readers to revisit the intricate workings of an extraordinary experiment.

“No work specifies more fully Marx’s claim that, the greatest achievement of the Paris Commune was its ‘actual working existence.'”Jacobin

“In recent years, the Paris Commune has again moved to the center of political thinking. Kristin Ross’s new book now, virtually for the first time, gives us an account of the intellectual antecedents of the Commune as well as its contemporary impact. This is an indispensable text for all current left theory!”—Fredric Jameson 

“Although this is a book of ideas, it is neither dry nor overburdened by scholarly references. Ross’s vision of the Commune extends beyond the 72 days, and beyond the space of Paris (and indeed of France), to encompass its echoes throughout the rest of the 19th century … For Ross, the story of the Commune is not a tragedy, because it is not finished.”Financial Times 

Kristin Ross is a professor of comparative literature at New York University. She is the author of numerous books, including Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture and May ’68 and its Afterlives.

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