2014 Top Ten: Theory Books

shoes’tis the season to make best-of-the-year lists, it seems. I read books for a living (which means not necessarily from start to finish, and generally by writing in them as I go along). These are my favourites from this year, ones which made me think the most, or confirmed my prejudices, or surprised me a little bit, and all of which also bought at least a little bit of pleasure.

1). Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice – Michel Foucault (like discovering a lost record by Talking Heads from somewhere between 1978 and 1982).

2). Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon – edited by Barbara Cassin.

3). Sophistical Practice: Toward a Consistent Relativism – Barbara Cassin.

4). Genealogy as Critique: Foucault and the Problem of Modernity – Colin Koopman.

5). Keys to the City: How Economics, Institutions, Social Interaction, and Politics Shape Development – Michael Storper.

6). Democracy and Illusion: An Examination of Certain Aspects of Modern Democratic Theory – John Plamenatz (and oldie, bought by accident).

7). Making Human Geography – Kevin Cox (my favourite book by someone I know).

8). Africa’s Urban Revolution – edited by Sue Parnell and Edgar Pieterse (makes you think about cities and urbanization in new ways).

9). Justification and Critique: Towards a Critical Theory of Politics – Rainer Forst.

10). Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity – Charles Taylor (another oldie, and I’m not sure why I found myself reading this, but I did, and then I wondered why I hadn’t done so before).

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