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The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2006

Peter Breiner
Affiliation:
State University of New York at Albany

Extract

The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject. By John Sanbonmatsu. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004. 272p. $65.00 cloth, $22.95 paper.

As the title suggests, this book has a great and admirable ambition. It seeks to write a version of Antonio Gramsci's Modern Prince for a post–New Left, postmodern era. While it does not actually do this, it does provide a critical settling of accounts both with the legacy of the American New Left and the subsequent appearance of a (largely academic) leftism informed by postmodern theory. More significantly, it tries to suggest, though very sketchily, what a unitary actor with strategic acumen and a leftist program might look like, given the decline of parties of the working class and the fragmentation of emancipatory social movements. Both the criticism and the reconstructive aim are informed by Gramsci's emphasis on politics as a struggle for hegemony.

Type
BOOK REVIEWS: POLITICAL THEORY
Copyright
© 2006 American Political Science Association

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