Download e-book for kindle: Ball of Fire by Stefan Kanfer

By Stefan Kanfer

As a film actress Lucille Ball used to be, in her personal phrases, “queen of the B-pluses.” yet at the small display she was once a superstar–arguably the funniest and so much enduring within the historical past of television. during this exemplary biography, Stefan Kanfer explores the roots of Lucy’s genius and locations it within the context of her conflicted and infrequently sour own life.

Ball of fireside supplies us Lucy in all her contradictions. this is the wonder who turned a grasp of knock-down slapstick; the keep watch over freak whose comedian adjust ego thrived on chaos, the worshipful television housewife whose actual marriage resulted in public catastrophe. the following, too, is an intimate view of the sunrise of tv and of the the US that embraced it. fascinating, informative, touching. and laugh-out-loud humorous, this can be the ebook Lucy’s fanatics were looking ahead to.

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And how could it be other? For if marxism, too, is a product of history, it cannot finally claim by any dialectical tricks to escape the judgements of history itself. Nor, to the contrary of external or cynical critiques, however, can we reasonably expect the impetus of marxism or socialism simply to disappear like water into the arid sands of life after history. As Bauman will make more apparent in later work, sociologists cannot afford to let others do their thinking for them. The essential challenge for all social critics remains Kant's imperative: dare to think for yourself!

If the identity politics of labour in the nineteenth century connected to the politics of production, then midway into the twentieth century the indications were that consumption would now be central to identity. Labour, in turn, was not merely the recipient but also the agent of this process. The brief prospects of postwar corporatism sought then to consolidate the interests of producer groups as consumers of managed shares of GNP. Then the process we now, again after the fact, call globalization changed all that.

For as Castoriadis puts it, and Bauman concurs with his judgement, the crisis of the western world consists in that it stopped putting itself in question. We can revive the sense of question, for example, by discussing again Claus Offe's suggestion that we need to uncouple work and income or dignity and money (Bauman, 1 998b: 95). This means to open, again, those horizons called utopia, not in naive hope but because our world has changed, and may by that virtue change again. Ufe After Class Class was the great hope of the marxism which carried on from Marx's nineteenth-century legacy through Kautsky to Lukacs and later, to Althusser.

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Ball of Fire by Stefan Kanfer


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