The New York Times Book Review has included in its list of best book covers of 2017 Pluto Press’s 2017 reissue of The Communist Manifesto, which features an introduction by Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean, who holds the Donald R. Harter ’39 Professorship of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Exploring the Manifesto’s historical impact and contemporary relevance, Dean’s introduction describes the global reach of capitalism, wide-spread economic inequality, strained political systems and the influence of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ manuscript in class struggles over the past 150 years. Against this backdrop, she writes, the reissue of The Communist Manifesto “one hundred years after [the Russian Revolution of 1917] pushes us to occupy this space again and take the perspective of the revolution.”
The Pluto Press edition of Marx and Engels’ revolutionary political text also features an afterward by renowned theorist and professor David Harvey.
Dean, who has taught at HWS since 1993, is the author or editor of 12 books, including Blog Theory, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies and, most recently, Crowds and Party (2016, Verso Books). In Crowds and Party, Dean argues for a vision of leftist politics with a renewed focus on the political party as a vehicle for lasting change. She examines the failures of a politics focused on the individual rather than the group, and the need for the left “to think again about the political form and organize itself as a party.”
Building on the work of her previous book, The Communist Horizon, which learns from and critically engages the Occupy movement, Dean offers a critique of individualism and the legacy of the 20th century, and the barriers they impose on collective action. Crowds and Party also continues her work surrounding the concept of “communicative capitalism,” with a focus on the promises and shortcomings of social media.