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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

New Titles from Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning

Two new titles are now available from the Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning series, produced by 3CT and the University of Chicago Press.

In Capitalism and the Emergence of Civic Equality in Eighteenth-Century France, William H. Sewell Jr. argues that the flourishing of commercial capitalism in eighteenth-century France introduced a new independence, flexibility, and anonymity to French social life. By entering the interstices of this otherwise rigidly hierarchical society, expanded commodity exchange colored everyday experience in ways that made civic equality thinkable, possible, even desirable, when the crisis of the French Revolution arrived. Sewell ties together masterful analyses of a multitude of interrelated topics: the rise of commerce, the emergence of urban publics, the careers of the philosophes, commercial publishing, patronage, political economy, trade, and state finance. Sewell is a 3CT fellow and CSPM series editor.

In Justice Is an Option: A Democratic Theory of Finance for the Twenty-First Century, Robert Meister returns to the spirit of Marx to diagnose our current age of finance. Instead of closing our eyes to the political and economic realities of our era, we need to grapple with them head-on. Meister does just that, asking whether the very tools of finance that have created our vastly unequal world could instead be made to serve justice and equality. Meister here formulates nothing less than a democratic financial theory for the twenty-first century—one that is equally conversant in political philosophy, Marxism, and contemporary politics.