Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life (Paperback)
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An urgent challenge to the prevailing moral order from one of the freshest, most compelling voices in radical politics today
Being Numerous shatters the mainstream consensus on politics and personhood, offering in its place a bracing analysis of a perilous world and how we should live in it. Beginning with an interrogation of what it means to fight fascism, Natasha Lennard explores the limits of individual rights, the criminalization of political dissent, the myths of radical sex, and the ghosts in our lives. At once politically committed and philosophically capacious, Being Numerous is a revaluation of the idea that the personal is political, and situates as the central question of our time—How can we live a non-fascist life?
About the Author
Natasha Lennard is a Contributing Writer for the Intercept, and her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times, Nation, Esquire, Vice, Salon, and the New Inquiry, among others. She teaches Critical Journalism at the New School for Social Research and coauthored Violence: Humans in Dark Times with Brad Evans.
“Pulsating with energy and acuity, Being Numerous tackles urgent, fundamental questions: What are the sources of our oppression? Do we want to be free? While assessing the forces aligned against our collective liberation (some of which are inside our heads), Natasha Lennard never loses hope. An inoculation against apathy and nostalgia, this is an essential, provocative collection for our confounding times.”
—Astra Taylor, director of What Is Democracy?
“Compassionate and merciless, Natasha Lennard’s writing is proof that moral philosophy must not be left to the mealymouthed centrists whom the discipline seems to incubate like eggs. Centrism, fascism’s PR department, emerges as the true antagonist of this scrappy collection, and Lennard punches it right in the face. Being Numerous is a manual for how to be kinder by being crueler.”
—Andrea Long Chu, author of Females: A Concern
“Natasha Lennard is one of the most brilliant and compelling thinkers of our time. She breaks binaries and uproots ideology in elegant prose. Being Numerous demands the attention of any and all who feel the urgency to build the next world.”
—Mychal Denzel Smith, author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching
“Natasha Lennard views politics through the lens of theory, and writes theory with passion and fire—her essays on suicide, violence, sex and antifascism are the work of a dazzling intellect grappling with the most pressing issues of our time.”
—Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood
“Riveting … Being Numerous is an enlightening and eminently readable guide to the radical politics of today.”
—Times Literary Supplement
"This is committed journalism at its finest: forbidden, formidable, ferocious.”
—Joshua Clover, author of Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings
“I am always thrilled to read work by Natasha Lennard. Her combination of theory and hard reporting is as rare as it is essential. Questions about liberalism and anti-fascism that dominate our political moment are tackled here with theoretical sophistication, serious reporting, and an inimitable style.”
—Sarah Leonard, coeditor of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century
“This book is a must read for those interested in elegant and clever writing on the urgent political and social issues of our day.”
—Razia Iqbal, journalist at BBC News
“Deconstruction with a political bite, Natasha Lennard is the left’s answer to post-truth.”
—Malcolm Harris, author of Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials
“Lennard’s writing puts feelings, facts and reasoning in close contact, respectfully learning from each other. As she shows so clearly, this communing of the faculties is one of the keys to an anti-fascist life.”
—McKenzie Wark, author of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty First Century
“Concise and wonderfully acerbic.”
“Lennard’s perspective encourages an active, thoughtful view of citizenship in a disconcerting era.”
—Tank (“Summer Reads”)
“An especially helpful analytical framework for the twenty-first century, a world with billions of digital selves interacting in a hypersurveilled universe, within which we are anything but free or empowered.”
“Beautifully, written, often incisive and astute, and eminently relevant.”