Recent Books

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Globalization: An Introduction to the End of the Known World (2016)

Globalization: An Introduction to the End of the Known World surveys the history of globalization from the earliest of ancient texts through contemporary debates and the prospects for anticipating the new worlds to come. At the end of the twentieth century, debates over the nature of globalization were unable to agree on a simple resolution, except to say that globalization is economic, political, and cultural all at once. Cultural globalization affects everyone with a smartphone, on which global youth from Los Angeles to Jakarta listen to Jay-Z and Beyonce. States are torn in several directions at once by unsettling economic, political, and cultural forces. Lemert concludes with a serious outline of the possible ways of imagining what the still-unknown global world will become next ways including optimism, caution, and skepticism

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Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings, sixth Edition (2013)

For nearly a quarter-century, Charles Lemert has shared his love of social theory, and the questions it explores, in this collection of readings. With 140 selections that begin in the nineteenth century and end in 2015, Social Theory charts the long arc of the development of the field. This edition retains classic texts by Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and W.E.B. Du Bois and writings of major contemporary figures like Audre Lorde and Patricia Hill Collins, while adding pieces from Harriet Martineau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Thomas Piketty, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, among others. Revised and updated with a new section exploring social theory at the limits of the social, Lemert’s Social Theory remains essential reading.

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Why Niebuhr Matters (2011)

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-twentieth-century America. But what does he have to say to us now? In what way does he inform the thinking of political leaders and commentators from Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright to David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead, all of whom acknowledge his influence? In this lively overview of Niebuhr's career, Charles Lemert analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the answers we ache for in the face of seismic shifts in the global order.

In the middle of the twentieth century, having outgrown a theological liberalism, Niebuhr challenged and rethought the nonsocialist Left in American politics. He developed a political realism that refused to sacrifice ideals to mere pragmatism, or politics to bitterness and greed. He examined the problem of morality in an immoral society and reimagined the balance between rights and freedom for the individual and social justice for the many. With brevity and deep insight, Lemert shows how Niebuhr's ideas illuminate our most difficult questions today.