Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
Well written, well argued and revolutionary in its implications. Explores the nature of contemporary world capitalism, assessing it as a form of extreme hiearchical and imperial control. However the book identifies it as very different from prior forms of empire, and as historically unique in important structural ways. Rather than a centered form of control and mutual perception, the empire of capitalism is fluid, modular, every shifting and headless, allowing for specific abuses unique to globalization. It’s a relatively pessimistic book, but also includes enough indicaiton of ways to mobiilize tools and forms against the system to not give into despair. Beyond that, the uniqueness of the main theesis, the force by which it’s expressed and the very nice writing of the book make it a compelling read. It’s particularly good at linking far-ranging political philosophy and theory of modernity in with current market conditions.
Essential theory for any academic, and a great resource for everyone to gain a better insight into the contemporary socio-economic world system. Overstates it’s case a bit and is a bit too orthodox in the communist prescriptions it ulitmately offers, but it’s a great and rigorious book.
Worse than: Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault
Better than: The Making of the English Working Class by E. P. Thomspon