David Harvey is among the most distinguished and influential Marxist theorists of his generation. For over three decades he has published works of major insight and originality that have challenged and altered dominant intellectual-political frameworks of understanding in urban studies, geography, sociology and beyond. His writings cover an astonishing range of issues, from the nature of urbanism and the role of space in capitalist accumulation to environmental issues and post-modernism. A Marxist at a time when Marxism has fallen out of fashion in the Western academy and the wider world, he remains one of the most trenchant contemporary critics of global capitalism and its effects on bodies, ecologies, spaces and places. The work of David Harvey is now sufficiently well-known and influential to warrant a critical reader. First, the majority of his books have had a trans-disciplinary impact. In urban studies, for example, both Social Justice and the City and the two-volume Studies in the History and Theory of Capitalist Urbanisation arguably had a paradigm-shifting effect.
Likewise, The Limits to Capital - now in its second edition - has been widely read by political economists, urban theorists and international relations scholars. More recently, The Condition of Postmodernity and Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference have had an international impact on cultural and environmental theorists respectively. Second, what makes Harvey's work distinctive is that it advocates a very particular, 'classical' kind of Marxism. This commitment to the ongoing relevance of a relatively 'unreconstructed' Marxism marks Harvey out as an almost unique figure on the wider intellectual landscape. Despite the hegemony of 'post-' or 'after-Marxist' modes of thought on the academic Left, Harvey has succeeded in showing the continued explanatory power of an undiluted version of historical materialism. Third, with the exception of Henri Lefebvre, Harvey is probably the most famous theorist of the role that space plays in the reproduction of socio-economic life. Now that space is 'on the agenda' for a whole array of critical theorists, Harvey's work - though hardly reducible to the question of space - stands-out as a major intervention on the question.
Finally, in human geography - Harvey's disciplinary 'home' - he is arguably the most influential and well-known figure of the last 3 decades. For these four reasons a David Harvey Critical Reader is timely and will be of major appeal to academics, post-graduates and upper-level undergraduates both in geography and across the social sciences. This critical reader brings together blue-chip contributors and, moreover, contributors from across the human sciences, emphasising the wider relevance of Harvey's.
"The debates in David Harvey: A Critical Reader highlight the importance of thinking about space as something materially produced and in process ... The discussion also leads to considerations of the urban as a way of life. The tension between these two strands makes this anthology fertile ground for attempts at a synthesis."
"David Harvey: A Critical Reader is a landmark assessment of the work, and diverse influences, of this leading geographer-cum-social theorist. No stodgy hagiography, the Reader presents a series of punchy, personal, political, and often profound reflections on four decades of Harvey?s contributions. In locating Harvey and his interlocutors, the Reader also suggestively maps out the shifting terrain of critical thinking around the spatialities of late capitalism." Jamie Peck, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Few contemporary thinkers have been untouched by David Harvey, even in opposition, as this collection of brilliant essays attests. And, after the critics? scalpels have done their bit of nip and tuck, he comes off still looking rather well for his age." R. A. Walker, University of California, Berkeley
"The Critical Reader offers a set of inspiring and non-hagiographic reflections on the intellectual legacy of David Harvey that will be an invaluable read not only for geographers but for all social scientists committed to the pursuit of a critical and transformative understanding of the world."
Ugo Rossi, Universita L?Orientale of Naples, Italy
Notes on Contributors.
1 Troubling Geographies (Derek Gregory, University of British Columbia).
2 Between Deduction and Dialectics: David Harvey on Knowledge (Trevor Barnes, University of British Columbia).
3 David Harvey and Marxism (Alex Callinicos, University of York).
4 Dialectical Materialism: Stranger than Friction (Marcus Doel, University of Wales Swansea).
5 Differences that Matter (Melissa Wright, The Pennsylvania State University).
6 David Harvey on Cities (Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College, NY).
7 Dialectical Space-Time: Harvey on Space (Eric Sheppard, University of Minnesota).
8 Spatial Fixes, Temporal Fixes, and Spatio-Temporal Fixes (Bob Jessop, Lancaster University).
9 Globalization and Primitive Accumulation: The Contributions of David Harvey's Dialectical Marxism (Nancy Hartsock, University of University of Washington).
10 Towards a New Earth and a New Humanity: Nature, Ontology, Politics (Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota).
11 David Harvey: A Rock In A Hard Place (Nigel Thrift, University of Oxford).
12 Messing with 'the Project' (Cindi Katz, Graduate Center of the City University of New York).
13 The Detour of Critical Theory (Noel Castree, University of Manchester).
14 Space as a Key Word (David Harvey, Graduate Center of the City University of New York).
David Harvey: List of Publications.
Series: Antipode Book Series
Number Of Pages: 340
Published: 1st January 2006
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.22 x 16.87
Weight (kg): 0.64
Edition Number: 1