Joshua Cohen

  • Evil Empire

    Deborah Chasman and Joshua Cohen

    Investigation of power and dominion, through the lens of genre fiction, interviews, and essays.

    A collection of genre fiction, interviews, and essays that turn a critical lens on society, Evil Empire explores imaginary empires alongside historical ones, considering gender and racial regimes as well as the ascendancy of technology.

    Featuring some of the biggest names in fiction as well as relative newcomers, Evil Empire offers a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, techno-thrillers, and more. In their investigation of power and dominion, these writers raise a multitude of challenging questions. One writer, for example, imagines “the algorithmic governance of affect”—a world in which the credit scores of misbehaving and dissenting citizens are marked down at government request; another revisits Reagan's 1983 “Evil Empire” speech and considers the burdensome legacy of Reagan's words.

    Contributors include Michael Kimmage, Frank Pasquale, Arundhati Roy

    • Paperback $16.00


  • Fifty Years Since MLK

    Fifty Years Since MLK

    Brandon Terry

    Martin Luther King's legacy for today's activists, fifty years after his death.

    Since his death on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King's legacy has influenced generations of activism. Edited and with a lead essay by Brandon Terry, this volume explores what this legacy can and cannot do for activism in the present.

    King spent the months leading up to his death organizing demonstrations against the Vietnam War and planning the Poor People's Campaign, a “multiracial army of the poor” that would march on Washington in pursuit of economic justice. Thus the spring of 1968 represented a hopeful, albeit chaotic set of possibilities; King, along with countless other activists, offered both ethical and strategic solutions to the multifaceted problems of war, racism, and economic inequality. With a critical eye on both the past and present, this collection of essays explores that moment of promise, and how, in the fifty years since King's death, historical forces have shaped what we claim as a usable past in fighting the injustices of our time.

    • Paperback $16.00
  • Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life

    Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life

    Alan A. Stone

    Essays on small art films and big-budget blockbusters, including Antonia's Line, American Beauty, Schindler's List, and The Passion of the Christ, that view films as life lessons, enlarging our sense of human possibilities.

    For Alan Stone, a one-time Freudian analyst and former president of the American Psychiatric Society, movies are the great modern, democratic medium for exploring our individual and collective lives. They provide occasions for reflecting on what he calls “the moral adventure of life”: the choices people make—beyond the limits of their character and circumstances—in response to life's challenges. The quality of these choices is, for him, the measure of a life well lived. In this collection of his film essays, Stone reads films as life texts. He is engaged more by their ideas than their visual presentation, more by their power to move us than by their commercial success. Stone writes about both art films and big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. And he commands an extraordinary range of historical, literary, cultural, and scientific reference that reflects his impressive personal history: professor of law and medicine, football player at Harvard in the late 1940s, director of medical training at McLean Hospital, and advisor to Attorney General Janet Reno on behavioral science. In the end, Stone's enthusiasms run particularly to films that embrace the sheer complexity of life, and in doing so enlarge our sense of human possibilities: in Antonia's Line, he sees an emotionally vivid picture of a world beyond patriarchy; in Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, the power of sheer contingency in human life; and in American Beauty, how beauty in ordinary experience draws us outside ourselves, and how beauty and justice are distinct goods, with no intrinsic connection. Other films discussed in these essays (written between 1993 and 2006 for Boston Review) include Un Coeur en Hiver, Schindler's List, Pulp Fiction, Thirteen Days, the 1997 version of Lolita, The Battle of Algiers, The Passion of the Christ, Persuasion, and Water.