Notable contemporary thinkers and creators give their individual perspectives in this compelling look at violence.
The project started in 2015 when journalist Lennard interviewed political philosopher and critical theorist Evans (Political Violence/Univ. of Bristol; Liberal Terror, 2013, etc.) for the New York Times philosophy blog The Stone. The resulting feature, “Thinking Against Violence,” was published in December 2015 and received widespread attention and discussion. The authors soon expanded on the theme, launching an ongoing successful series on violence that ran through 2016 in the same section, with Lennard and Evans picking the brains of scores of academic authorities and philosophers, including, among others, philosopher Richard J. Bernstein, Nicholas Mirzoeff, and Simona Forti. Later, the series found renewed life in the Los Angeles Book Review, where the authors broadened the scope to include an even wider range of creative minds, including filmmaker Oliver Stone, South African musician and composer Neo Muyanga, and adult performer Mickey Mod. With a quest to “learn how to undo violence,” the authors compiled what they describe as “a series of conversations as a truly trans-disciplinary mediation with artists, writers and cultural producers that brings critical thought to bear on violence.” Often nodding to the pioneering groundwork of German philosopher Hannah Arendt, the book—a diverse compendium of 28 leading voices on the topic of violence—runs the gamut of themes, from violence in media and film to sex, gender, and race in the escalating age of violence. Other discussions include bullying and torture, war and terrorism, dangers of the normalization of violence, the influence of the digital age, climate degradation as a violent crime against humanity, and the important role ignorance plays in the perpetuation of violence. Other contributors include Elaine Scarry, Tom McCarthy, Moira Weigel, and Adrian Parr.
A provocative volume that challenges humanity to correct its runaway course toward an increasingly violent future by learning from its violent past.