Synopses & Reviews
"It's a clear, useful anthology. Excellent for classroom use." --Dr. Paul Swann, Temple University; Course: Postmodern Criticism; Graduate
"Postmodern Theory covers the difficult, sometimes treacherous, and always labyrinthine terrain of modern critical theory about as well as it can be done. This text explores the intricate--and often dense--discourses of writers like Foucault, Baudrillard, Jameson, and Habermas with admirable clarity and insight. If a good deal of postmodern theorizing is opaque and unreadable, this volume is eminently coherent and readable. If postmodernism seems all too often to be engaged in a flight from politics, Best and Kellner manage to bring the theoretical enterprise back to its political moorings. And this is no easy task. This book is highly recommended for any student of social and political theory." --Carl Boggs, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
"The most detailed introduction to postmodern social theory I have yet seen, including valuable critical readings of the major debates.' --Fredric Jameson, Duke University
"Offers a significant engagement with many of the leading figures in current philosophical debates about contemporary history, culture, and politics. Postmodern Theory's rigor, insight, and unique focus make it an important work to be reckoned with. It should prove to be an invaluable resource and example for anyone interested in media theory and cultural studies.' --Lawrence Grossberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
"In view of the countless many who have lost their way and wits in the dark junglelands of post-modernism, it is bracing to encounter two writers who have been there and back with their critical judgment intact and perhaps even strengthened by the encounter. They have composed a guide through the swamps, around the quicksands, past the piranha beds, in and out of the mazes of Foucault, Derida, Baudrillard, Habermas, Lyotard, and other dangers. They are sure guides, sharp critics, smart readers, enlightened spirits. I would trust them utterly.' --Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University
"Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations is perhaps the most comprehensive introduction to postmodern social theory on the shelves.... This book not only interrogates the past, but more importantly, it demands and inspires the production of new perspectives and solutions to our present social demise."--Harvard Educational Review
In this timely volume, the authors systematically analyze postmodern theory to evaluate its relevance for critical social theory and radical politics today.
Best and Kellner provide:
* An introduction and critique of the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Laclau and Mouffe, and Jameson, which assess the varying contributions and limitations of postmodern theory
* A discussion of postmodern feminist theory and the politics of identity
* A systematic study of the origin of the discourse of the postmodern in historical, sociological, cultural, and philosophical studies.
The authors claim that while postmodern theory provides insights into contemporary developments, it lacks adequate methodological and political perspectives to provide a critical social theory and radical politics for the present age.
About the Author
Steven Best, Ph.D., is a Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso. He has published articles on Marx, postmodern theory, Baudrillard, Debord, Jameson, film, television, and cultural theory.
Douglas Kellner is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of Karl Korsch: Revolutionary Theory; Marxism and Modernity; Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond; Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film (with Michael Ryan); and Television and the Crisis of Democracy