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Premonitions

Premonitions

Selected essays on the culture of revolt
by AK Thompson
AK Press 2018

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Bringing together a decade of AK Thompson’s essays on the culture of revolt, Premonitions offers an engaged assessment of contemporary radical politics. Inspired by Walter Benjamin and addressing themes ranging from violence and representation to Romanticism and death, Thompson combines scholarship and grassroots grit to disabuse us of cherished certainties. Whether uncovering the unrealized promise buried in mainstream cultural offerings or tracing our course toward the moment of reckoning ahead, the essays in Premonitions are both practical investigations and provocations.

“AK Thompson’s meditations on love and insurrection provide crucial tools for untangling the neuroses that pervade our culture of revolt. From critical theory to Craigslist, Odysseus to Occupy, Premonitions challenges us to confront the world around us without becoming reconciled to a reality that debases us all.” —Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

“Politics without violence is inconceivable: how does that change what we think of solidarity, action, and world-building, or practices of community and political aesthetics? AK Thompson’s gripping Premonitions forcefully and with conceptual delicacy reconsiders this question. Arguing that activism taps into the revelatory capacities of political violence, the essays develop a creative vision of what collective action can do. Thompson, a brilliant political theorist, works from the ground up and provides a great, inspiriting and clarifying lexicon to work with.” —Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism.

“A pleasure. “This incendiary little book is also a finely balanced one. It asks the defining questions of our hard moment and shows why the answers are uneasy  ones. One part an elegiac history of recent freedom movements and their quandaries, one part a caution against any too-easy commitment to nonviolence, Premonitions teems with insights.” — David Roediger, author of Class, Race, and Marxism.

AK Thompson is an activist, author, and social theorist. Currently a professor of social movements and social change at Ithaca College, his publications include Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research (2006), Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent (2010), Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution (2017) and co-edited Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (2016). Between 2005 and 2012, he served on the Editorial Committee of Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action.

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