The Loneliest Jukebox

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Prophetic or pathetic?

Time for a clear out: old stuff finds its way onto Ebay (here) or my Amazon shop (here).
Among the candidates for other people's retail therapy is Against His-story, Against Leviathan by Fredy Perlman.

Back when I was researcher on Last of the Mohicans: the Musical I skimmed the section of Against... on the legends of the Lenni Lenape. But I never got around to reading it all, even though the author's 'many thanks' to Peter Rachleff , whose labour history I quite like, was a promising sign. I was pretty sure I wouldn't buy the notion that modern alienation kicks off in the ancient world and I had 50 other priorities that week - you know the story.

Anyway, a quick google before ejecting it from the Barnfield family library turned up this fulsome praise: "Perlman left many loose ends. But his basic position has proven unanswerable. Opposition to progress, development and Civilization are part of the minimum program of revolutionaries today. " I happen to think all three of these are quite good, leading to a (very) minor dilemma. Do I ditch the book, having had my suspicions about its primitivism confirmed? Or settle down and read it, in the knowledge that it's become a manifesto for our times, even among people who have read less of it than me?

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