The Utopia of Rules
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ISBN : 9781612195186
Category : Politics
Format : Paperback
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"Interrogates aspects of bureaucratic modernity that are normally unexamined causes of annoyance... Stylish and witty." --The New Statesman

"Packed with provocative observations and left-field scholarship. Ranging from witty analysis of comic-book narratives to penetrating discussion of world-changing technologies that haven't actually appeared, it demystifies some of the ruling shibboleths of our time. Modern bureaucracy embodies a view of the world as being essentially rational, but the roots of this vision, Graeber astutely observes, go all the way back to the ancient Pythagoreans." --John Gray, The Guardian

"A startlingly original thinker... able to convey complicated ideas with wit and clarity." --The Telegraph

"A brilliant, deeply original political thinker." --Rebecca Solnit

"I loved this book." --Thomas Piketty, author of 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'

"One of the year's most influential books." --Paul Mason, The Guardian

"Fascinating... Graeber's book is not just thought provoking, but also exceedingly timely." --Gillian Tett, Financial Times

"When you read this you'll be cleverer." --Russell Brand

"Brilliant, unexpectedly funny, and provides many bracing perspectives on the subject." --A 2012 Book of the Year in The Spectator

"The most important theory book I've read this year, an essential take on the current crisis by an anarchist anthropologist who combines credentials with readability." --Laurie Penny's Book of 2012 in the New Statesman

"The book is more readable and entertaining than I can indicate... It is a meditation on debt, tribute, gifts, religion and the false history of money. Graeber is a scholarly researcher, an activist and a public intellectual." --Peter Carey, The Observer

"Four years ago [Graeber] penned a brilliant treatise on debt, Debt: The First 5,000 Years. His new book develops this analysis and asks why so much of modern life is dominated by endless bureaucracy and frustrating administrative tasks, whether in relation to finance, healthcare or almost everything else... Graeber's book should offer a challenge to us all. Should we just accept this bureaucracy as inevitable? Or is there a way to get rid of all those hours spent listening to bad call centre music?... Can we imagine another world?" --Gillian Tett

"Graeber's most interesting claim... is that our expressed hostility toward bureaucracy is at least partly disingenuous: that these thickets of rules and regulations are a source, to quote from his subtitle, of 'secret joys' for most of us." --Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian

"Fantastic, illuminating... get it, and learn." --Russell Brand

"[A] fizzing, fabulous firecracker of a book...Our contemporary bureaucrats are revealed, in fact, as none other than you and me, forever administering and marketing ourselves." --Literary Review

"Interrogates aspects of bureaucratic modernity that are normally unexamined causes of annoyance...Stylish and witty." --New Statesman

"Packed with provocative observations and left-field scholarship. Ranging from witty analysis of comic-book narratives to penetrating discussion of world-changing technologies that haven't actually appeared, it demystifies some of the ruling shibboleths of our time. Modern bureaucracy embodies a view of the world as being essentially rational, but the roots of this vision, Graeber astutely observes, go all the way back to the ancient Pythagoreans." --The Guardian

"Admirable and convincing... In his irrepressible, ruminative way, Graeber stands in the comic tradition of Walt Whitman, archy and mehitabel and James Thurber. This is the chorus with which to laugh the trousers off corporate management." --Times Higher Education

"Persuasive... Graeber's aim was to start a conversation on the boondoggles and benefits of bureaucracy. In that regard, he has ticked all the right boxes." --The Observer

David Graeber teaches anthropology at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Melville House, 2011, also available); Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar (Indiana University Press, 2007); Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2004); Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire (AK Press, 2007); and Direct Action: An Ethnography (AK Press, 2010). He has written for Harper's, The Nation, The Baffler, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New Left Review.

 



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