Book Review Archive

Review of Empire’s Labor: The Global Army that Supports the U.S. Wars

"Empire’s Labor" builds an explicitly spatial theory of empire: it foregrounds how empire-building has been grounded in the geographical management of bodies, populations, and circulations in the intimate spaces of everyday life.


Wesley Attewell

The Capitalism Effect: A Review of “The Licit Life of Capitalism” by Hannah Appel

“The Licit Life of Capitalism” offers an intimate and eclectic portrait of the oil industry’s attempt to disentangle itself from a small country on - and off - Africa’s Atlantic coast. But beyond these empirics, how might Appel’s portrait push scholars to examine the effects of our centuries-old, critical concept of “Capitalism”?


James Christopher Mizes

Spaces of Capital/Spaces of Resistance, Review by Phil Roberts

Hesketh’s book describes the uneven and combined articulations of Gramsci’s concepts of “passive revolution” and “hegemony” in an analysis of the EZLN and APPO movements in Mexico. This is a must read for researchers who are trying to explore the potential for anti-capitalist resistance without simplifying it to a question of global capital versus global labor.


Phil Roberts

The Eye of War, Review by Oliver Belcher

In this extraordinary survey, Bousquet examines the promises, mysteries, and anxieties that undergird ‘perceptual technologies,’ and their strange pride of place in executing contemporary warfare.


Oliver Belcher

Migration and the Built Environment

"The City in Transgression" transcends resistance, which is typically seen as organised mobilisations against capital in the form of uprisings. Behind the cameras and the curtain of publicity, along with the glitz of media razzmatazz, many migrants are involved in covert resistance, a silent revolution


Franklin Obeng-Odoom

Bunker, Review by Ian Klinke

"Bunker" is the gripping story of Bradley Garrett’s encounters with contemporary survivalists and the structures they build as an antidote to their existential dread.


Ian Klinke

The Making of Migration, Review by Martino Sacchi Landriani

"The Making of Migration" offers a deep theoretical rethinking of long-term fieldwork, directing our attention on the multiplication of border zones.


Martino Sacchi Landriani

Epistemology and Decolonial Politics

These critiques of Eurocentric epistemes narrow activism to knowledge production and pedagogy but do not show how epistemic change weakens settler colonialism South and North or ongoing colonization in socio-cultural and material terms.


Joe Parker

Reflections on the An/aesthetics of 21st Century Empire Borders: A Review Essay

Two new books focus upon how creeping imperialism, (re)colonization and the exportation of the modern surveillance state are central to First Worldist border regimes and their responsibility to protect privilege. Andersson and Miller both unveil how the financing of states in the Global South to act like pre-emptive border forces, through ‘keeping people sedentary’ as much as through ‘dampening extremism,’ has become central to 21st century geopolitics.


Richard Vogt

Improvised Lives: Rhythms of Endurance in an Urban South by AbdouMaliq Simone

Simone argues that the practices for living with instability will be found in those places with an infrastructure for moving forward despite sustained marginalization. It is in these places that we can see the infrastructure for making livable spaces out of unideal and less privileged circumstances.


Shannon Clarke