MULTITUDE: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire

Michael Hardt, Author, Antonio Negri, Author . Penguin Press $27.95 (427p) ISBN 978-1-59420-024-3

Empire (2000)—the surprise hit that made its term for U.S global hegemony stick and presciently set the agenda for post–9/11 political theory on the left—was written by this same somewhat unlikely duo: Hardt, an American political scientist at Duke University, and Negri, a former Italian parliament member and political exile, trained political scientist and sometime inmate of Rome's Rebibbia prison. This book follows up on Empire 's promise of imagining a full-blown global democracy. Though the authors admit that they can't provide the final means for bringing that entity about (or the forms for maintaining it), the book is rich in ideas and agitational ends. The "multitude" is Hardt and Negri's term for the earth's six billion increasingly networked citizens, an enormous potential force for "the destruction of sovereignty in favor of democracy." The middle section on the nature of that multitude is bookended by two others. The first describes the situation in which the multitude finds itself: "permanent war." The last grounds demands for and historical precursors of global democracy. Written for activists to provide a solid goal (with digressions into history and theory) toward which protest actions might move, this timely book brings together myriad loose strands of far left thinking with clarity, measured reasoning and humor, major accomplishments in and of themselves. (On sale Aug. 9)

Reviewed on: 07/12/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-101-01041-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 448 pages - 978-1-101-00882-9
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-101-00829-4
Paperback - 426 pages - 978-0-14-303559-6
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