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What if there were a field called Umbrology, the study of shadows, where physicists and shadow puppeteers worked side by side? Raedmeon—a city built by committee, riding in on slow, lumbering beasts of burden, Weston a Committee Man if ever there was one. Among his secret joys is the way the dry cleaner folds and boxes his shirts, the new-map sensation of the creases cascading over his shoulders and chest each morning.

Each night, the ancient elevator hoists Weston up to the sparse apartment where he finds himself amidst light and shadows, a furnace that talks him through the night in Hephaestian tongues.

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A cot does for him; he is not impervious to the image of himself sunken in four-poster opulence in a spread of red paisley satin, maybe backed in goosefeather, but recognizes the chances of this are remote. Sleep may be luxury and indulgence for some out there, those in the elegant apartments his eye falls on beyond his sill with its gouges and blackened wicks. For him, sleep is as crude and functional as fuel. It catalyzes him for eight hours of sifting through statistics, rendering diagrams and schematics, the endlessly rigorous and recursive tasks of engineering a veritable universe packed into fourteen point eight two four nine six he can go on square miles.

A pragmatist! If he were to reveal this, it would be dismissed at first, then, if he insisted, treated with suspicion, and finally he would be dismissed. Who, though, could possibly understand the way the orderliness he harnesses and maintains has its origins in his dream life? Least of all his colleagues, drab bureaucrats to a man and Camilla Barber. When and how did he come to be The Bread Machine? At the holiday party one year someone arrived with a fresh-made loaf and they were all talking about it. So into the Machine go the problems that beleaguer any self-respecting city: overcrowding, crumbling infrastructure, de facto segregation, inadequate power grids on nights of anomalous heat or cold, the bombardment of pollutions ocular and aural, the endless teeter between the chorus of the old and the sirenry of the new.

Out come Proposals. Into the Machine, too, go daydreams, the yearnings and desires of the year-old eccentric loner whose lunch hours are spent browsing in the most unlikely locations—pawnshops, restaurant supply stores, sequin-manufacturing concerns. He will not join them in the company cafeteria midway up the black cylinder they relocated to a couple of years ago, despite its panoramic views of the city.

The Bread Machine, indeed. What none of them knows about is the pinch of yeast that goes into the Machine: mg. No rat fatalities or illness beyond the usual side effects—involuntary twitching of the whiskers, diminished proprioception. At staggering doses only, catastrophic kidney malfunction. He tried imitating this friend for a day but it fell flat, and it was pointed out that something he said verged on harassment, so he dropped that tack at once.

He needs the stuff now, needs the way it makes him swim through nights like a glowing set of eyes, springs him sated from the cot at daybreak. Nothing comes close, and so far as he can tell his kidneys are stalwart as bighorn sheep.


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On the bus this morning, he notes the tree-lined medians and open-air market, the vistas opened up by demolition and then the reassuring density of new construction encased in the fragile, spindly promise of scaffolding. But he wills himself silent, yoking deep-diaphragm breaths to images of retirement, a mere eight years away. Kosek suggests, relative to Hispanos, that these events illustrate how memories of past injustices and longing tie Hispanos to historic grant lands and ultimately to each other, yet do so in profoundly contradictory ways.

This is a difficult chapter in which Kosek tries to make an explosive political point. I appreciate the theoretical point here but Kosek transforms the violent enclosures to the common lands into a nostalgic tale of memory and grieving that binds Hispanos together in a shared sense of loss.

Chapter 2 examines the trajectories of forest governance in New Mexico. Chapter 3 is a direct critique of the Homeland thesis. He traces the development of western environmentalism within the context of white anxieties over racial purity and pollution. Kosek suggests that the same eugenic-driven desires for pure racial categories have infected the preoccupation with pure wilderness among environmentalists.

Kosek is careful not to call environmentalists racist, but rather suggests that the silence regarding this racist history produces a profoundly problematic environmental politics, particularly in New Mexico as the chapter so deftly shows. The title of Chapter 5 is worth the price of the book alone and brilliantly encapsulates the often surprising politics of nature in New Mexico. Chapter 6 is the best in the book.

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This powerful chapter, if not the entire book, should be required reading for every person who calls themselves an environmentalist. It is theoretically sharp and empirically rich. Through an analysis of the natures produced and reproduced through the realities and anxieties of nuclear bomb making, Kosek demonstrates how the meanings people attach to the forest are produced in the strangest of places.

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The nuclear—industrial complex in New Mexico produces new forms of nature that have material impacts on forest conflicts and everyday life. In this important chapter Kosek accomplishes his ambitious goal of expanding the terrain of political struggle over the forest in New Mexico. This smart and well-written book is the best and most important volume on New Mexico ever written by a geographer.

It is the first critical political ecology of New Mexico. It will be useful in graduate political ecology seminars. It will also be useful in the ongoing political struggles over the control of forest resources in New Mexico. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, Book Reviews History of Neoliberalism , embody the two entangled senses of representation that Marx so famously laid down in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte— representation as darstellen to describe, exhibit, portray and vertreten to advocate, intercede, proxy.

Harvey, in short, is not an innocent conduit of Marx. In fidelity to his illustrious predecessor, he produces knowledge. Take, for example, the dialectical Marx, his theory of capital accumulation stretched in time and space. Like Hegel, Harvey seeks a principle of necessity that will bind diverse moments into a continuous weave of meaning within the totality of the present. I want to pursue this claim briefly because it sheds light on the fraught knotting of praise and disaffection that one finds in David Harvey: A Critical Reader.

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Infused with dialectical? So far so good, we think. But Harvey denies us that comfort. By reducing it to opposition, Harvey has already diluted his initial concession to difference. And we sense what is coming. To the contrary, I want to point to a running tension in his formidable corpus of work between the desire to foreground process, celerity and emergence and with the same gesture to ordain structure, principles, and forms of difference that are always intelligible.

Wright does not rush to say that Harvey is a dinosaur when it comes to questions of difference.

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He may have been until the Condition of Postmodernity, but thereafter Wright senses a shift. When necessary he is quick to claim an ecclesiastical knowledge that can pronounce which differences matter and which can be set aside. This is a tendentious, even crass, accusation; but it is far from scandalous. But his essay, like several others in the collection, is unfailingly provocative. Indeed, what is unusual about David Harvey: A Critical Reader barring a couple of scruffy chapters with tired criticisms is the sheer number of perceptive essays.

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Even so, some stand out. But he wishes that Harvey, particularly in his recent writings, had paid greater attention to how the global South in its multiplicity enables and infringes upon the imperial West as self-proclaimed, self-preoccupied geographic and epistemic center of the world. Often the editors of a volume will choose to hide behind a cursory introduction or bask in the reflected glory of the contributors.

Not so here. But it is a troubling enterprise because that it wants to record, recognize and account for variegated otherness while refusing, steadfastly, to be troubled by their non-sublative politics. For all his meticulous attention to uneven development, the vigorous critiques of colonialism and imperialism that have emerged out of subaltern or postcolonial studies may as well as not exist for Harvey. Find it, read it! Ordinarily, I would say something about it. References Harvey D Explanation in Geography. In The Limits to Capital.

Understories | Steve Mayone

Related Papers. By Vinay Gidwani. Neoliberalism and geography: expansions, variegations, formations. By Simon Springer. Negotiating Particularity in Neoliberalism Studies Antipode. By John Lauermann. By Peter Wilshusen.