Cover image for The Politics of the Book: A Study on the Materiality of Ideas By Filipe Carreira da Silva and Monica Brito Vieira

The Politics of the Book

A Study on the Materiality of Ideas

Filipe Carreira da Silva and Monica Brito Vieira

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$89.00 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08342-1

$34.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08343-8

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272 pages
6" × 9"
2019

Penn State Series in the History of the Book

The Politics of the Book

A Study on the Materiality of Ideas

Filipe Carreira da Silva and Monica Brito Vieira

“This engaging, knowledgeable project significantly extends debates about the nature and stability of the sociological canon (implicitly, almost any disciplinary canon). While emphasizing the materiality of the making of intellectual authority, the authors also offer interesting interpretative analyses of the selected 'classics.'”

 

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It is impossible to separate the content of a book from its form. In this study, Filipe Carreira da Silva and Mónica Brito Vieira expand our understanding of the history of social and political scholarship by examining how the entirety of a book mediates and constitutes meaning in ways that affect its substance, appropriation, and reception over time.

Examining the evolving form of classic works of social and political thought, including W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, G. H. Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society, and Karl Marx’s 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira show that making these books involved many hands. They explore what publishers, editors, translators, and commentators accomplish by offering the reading public new versions of the works under consideration, examine debates about the intended meaning of the works and discussions over their present relevance, and elucidate the various ways in which content and material form are interwoven. In doing so, Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira characterize the editorial process as a meaning-producing action involving both collaboration and an ongoing battle for the importance of the book form to a work’s disciplinary belonging, ideological positioning, and political significance.

Theoretically sophisticated and thoroughly researched, The Politics of the Book radically changes our understanding of what doing social and political theory—and its history—implies. It will be welcomed by scholars of book history, the history of social and political thought, and social and political theory.

“This engaging, knowledgeable project significantly extends debates about the nature and stability of the sociological canon (implicitly, almost any disciplinary canon). While emphasizing the materiality of the making of intellectual authority, the authors also offer interesting interpretative analyses of the selected 'classics.'”
“Carreira da Silva and Brito Vieira do a compelling job of showing how single-authored classics may actually be produced by, and achieve their star status through, the work of many competing contributors.”

Filipe Carreira da Silva is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Lisbon and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is the author of the prizewinning Mead and Modernity: Science, Selfhood, and Democratic Politics.

Mónica Brito Vieira is Professor of Political Theory at the University of York and the author of The Elements of Representation in Hobbes: Aesthetics, Theatre, Law, and Theology in the Construction of Hobbes’s Theory of the State. She is also a coauthor of Representation.

Acknowledgements

Introduction

1. Elementary Forms and the Cultural Durkheim

2. A Classic with No Author: G. H. Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society

3. The Dialectic of Dissent: Marx’s 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts

4. When Souls Came to Matter: The Many Lives of Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk

5. A Work in Translation: Weber’s The Protestant Ethic

6. Prophets and Princes: On the Editing and Translation of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

Conclution

Notes

References

Index