Commonwealth by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
When Empire appeared in 2000, it defined the political and economic challenges of the era of globalization and, thrillingly, found in them possibilities for new and more democratic forms of social organization. Now, with Commonwealth, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri conclude the trilogy begun with Empire and continued in Multitude, proposing an ethics of freedom for living in our common world and articulating a possible constitution for our common wealth.
Drawing on scenarios from around the globe and elucidating the themes that unite them, Hardt and Negri focus on the logic of institutions and the models of governance adequate to our understanding of a global commonwealth. They argue for the idea of the “common” to replace the opposition of private and public and the politics predicated on that opposition. Ultimately, they articulate the theoretical bases for what they call “governing the revolution.”
Though this book functions as an extension and a completion of a sustained line of Hardt and Negri’s thought, it also stands alone and is entirely accessible to readers who are not familiar with the previous works. It is certain to appeal to, challenge, and enrich the thinking of anyone interested in questions of politics and globalization.
It is 1830. Rutherford Calhoun, a newly treed slave and irrepressible rogue, is desperate to escape unscrupulous bill collectors and an impending marriage to a priggish schoolteacher. He jumps aboard the first boat leaving New Orleans, the Republic, a slave ship en route to collect members of a legendary African tribe, the Allmuseri. Thus begins a daring voyage of horror and self-discovery.
Peopled with vivid and unforgettable characters, nimble in its interplay of comedy and serious ideas, this dazzling modern classic is a perfect blend of the picaresque tale, historical romance, sea yarn, slave narrative, and philosophical novel.
About the Author: Dr. Charles Johnson, a 1998 MacArthur fellow, is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. His fiction includes Dr. King’s Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. In 2002 he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In a recent column, Grace Lee Boggs wrote of Nathaniel Huggins: “Although we never met, Huggins has been my favorite historian for thirty years… I was fascinated by the way he wrote about the Africans who arrived on these shores in chains, not mainly as victims but as human beings with both the need and the power within them to create themselves anew in a new and strange environment.”
Revelations: American History, American Myths is available from Amazon.com.
Inspired by five true stories of communities who were tired of corporate political power entitlements running roughshod over their townships, Be the Change offers solutions for how individuals can stand up and take back their local governments.
Thomas Linzey, a graduate of Widener University School of Law, is the cofounder of both the Daniel Peacock Democracy School and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. He is a frequent presenter to groups and governments, including Bioneers. He lives in Spokane, Washington.
Anneke Campbell is a writer and documentary filmmaker who has worked for many years to advance the causes of justice and respect for all humanity and the environment. She lives in Venice, California.
View this promotional video for the 2009 edition of the The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook by James Boggs with new commentary by Grace Lee Boggs, Shea Howell, Carl Edwards, Larry Sparks, Julia Pointer-Putnam, Jenny Lee, and Richard Feldman.