Books & ideas

Keep on the Sunny Side
A Summer Selection

by Mélanie Cournil , 13 August 2018

Books & Ideas is going on holiday for the summer and will resume its publication schedule in September. In the meantime, we present to you our second summer selection of our most recent reviews.


Carl Havelange, "The Mechanics of the Gaze
What if the expression “visual culture” were to be taken literally? By retracing two centuries of optical inventions and reflections on the eye as a machine, this richly illustrated anthology shows how Western moderns learned to see.
Read the review→

Olivier Godechot, “Everyone’s a Collector
Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre invite us to rethink the social mechanisms that produce value and underline the important role collections play in the dynamics of inequalities characterising contemporary societies. By questioning the forms and stakes of commodification and price making in today’s society, they show that inserting goods in a collection increases their value.
Read the review→

Jean-Louis Fabiani, “Awakening the Leader within You
To make their highly original interactionist sociology widely accessible, Randall Collins and Maren McConnell revisit the careers of Statesmen and entrepreneurs. Their ambition is to resolve an old problem: what are leaders made of?
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Sébastien Broca, “A Digital Age without Proletarians
Has the digital economy definitively made the main tools of Marxist analysis obsolete? This is Mariano Zukerfeld’s argument, in a lively essay that suggests rethinking the critique of capitalism around the question of knowledge rather than labour. However, his demonstration lacks a convincing theory of value.
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Arthur Silve, “Working or Looting
In his latest book, Carles Boix proposes to account for human history with a simple theoretical approach, where the interplay between warfare and production technologies determines the choice between production and violence. This, in turn, leads to different governance structures and inequality levels – and, eventually, to different performances in terms of innovation and growth.
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Tristan Fournier, “Intelligence, Still Artificial
At a time when artificial intelligence is the focus of growing public attention, the philosopher Catherine Malabou questions the increasingly porous boundaries between the human brain and the synthetic brain. In doing so she traces the development of the concept of intelligence.
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Nicolas Sallée, “The Little Society of Children
How do children perceive the world around them, from the circles closest to them – their friends and family – to the most distant spheres – work and politics? In a recent book, two French sociologists open up a critical dialogue with psychology to describe the socially differentiated processes through which children learn to think and think about themselves.
Read the review→

by Mélanie Cournil, 13 August 2018

To quote this article :

Mélanie Cournil, « Keep on the Sunny Side. A Summer Selection », Books and Ideas , 13 August 2018. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

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