Other People's Politics
From right to left: the indispensable guide to post-2016 life, under Populism, Corbynism... and after.
How did Trump and Brexit go from laughable impossibilities to everyday reality? Why did digital media stop being cool and progressive, and become a reactionary, brainwashing nightmare? And, how did the Left get its act together and start winning again?
From right to left, Other People's Politics is the indispensable guide to post-2016 life.
'Other People's Politics is to contemporary political debates what Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own was to early feminism: a call for progressives to work tirelessly so that everyone is granted the material conditions necessary for reading a difficult book like James Joyce's Ulysses, if they choose to.'
Yanis Varoufakis, former Minister of Finance in Greece's SYRIZA government
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First rate analysis and great political economy. I would highly recommend it as the perfect antidote to mainstream UK media orthodoxy. ~ Mark Seddon, President of the UN General Assembly
One of the most original thinkers out there right now. ~ Ellie Mae O'Hagan
Other People’s Politics is an essential book for our time. It is theoretically rich, well-written, and aspirational without being recklessly idealistic. It will surely be of interest to anyone with an interest in progressive politics and the rise of right-wing populism. The book also speaks to a real need on the part of progressives to go beyond just condemning the Right—and towards trying to understand it. One of the most refreshing features of Smith’s book is its willingness to take seriously the arguments of conservative commentators like J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy. Smith is capable of demonstrating sympathy and understanding for the plight of conservative blue collar workers concerned with the state of their country, while also insisting that the Trumpist solutions they are turning too are ultimately dead ends. I think this is the correct approach and adds to the nuance of Smith’s book. It is a piece driven by authentic passion and care for the people it describes: a virtue all too rare in today’s political commentary. ~ Matt McManus, Merion West
J.A. Smith’s Other People’s Politics is a critical and original contribution to the debate over populism that seeks to go beyond the prevailing liberal interpretations, insisting that it is a form of politics that is best understood as one of three intertwined social and cultural ‘vectors’ that have given the decade or so since the 2008 financial crash their form. Indeed, embedded within these wider developments, populist insurgency is an expression of fundamental structural social transformations and, as such, is likely to remain a permanent feature of the political landscape. It is for this reason that, for Smith, the left must learn to navigate the new populist terrain. ~ Ed Rooksby, Review 31
Other People's Politics is to contemporary political debates what Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own was to early feminism: a call for progressives to work tirelessly so that everyone is granted the material conditions necessary for reading a difficult book like James Joyce's Ulysses, if they choose to. ~ Yanis Varoufakis, former Minister of Finance in Greece's SYRIZA government
Other People’s Politics is both a fascinating analysis of the populist discourses used by both left and right, and a considered deconstruction of the term ‘populism’ itself. Smith’s detailed and comprehensive analysis is a welcome contribution to the debate on the dangers and opportunities of populist politics. As left movements around the world increasingly make use of discourses that pit working people against elites, Other People’s Politics is recommended reading for socialist activists and organisers seeking to construct a populism from the left. ~ Grace Blakeley, New Statesman
James Smith meticulously examines today’s ‘populisms’ and illuminates the real meanings behind these insurgencies. A must-read for those that want to understand and progress beyond this new world we are in. ~ Ann Pettifor, Director of the Policy Research in Macroeconomics network