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The Bonds of Debt
Verso, 2011

Richard Dienst


Indebtedness as the universal condition of modern life. “Man is born free and is everywhere in debt,” declared the Economist in the summer of 2010, a cheeky admission that indebtedness and liberation are once again on the agenda across the globe. In this timely book, cultural critic Richard Dienst examines the current condition of indebtedness from a variety of angles, ranging from the financial crisis and global poverty to media politics and radical theory. Written in an engaging and forceful style, the book draws upon a surprising array of materials, including Obama’s national security strategy, the architecture of Prada stores, press photos of Bono, and a fairy tale told by Karl Marx.

Moving beyond the dominant pieties and widespread anxieties surrounding the topic, Dienst reconceives indebtedness as a social, economic, and political bond, where the crushing weight of objectified wealth comes face to face with new demands for equality and solidarity.




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