[Marxism] New from Verso: Least of All Possible Evils by Eyal Weizman

VersoMail Verso Versomail at verso.co.uk
Fri May 25 09:17:51 MDT 2012



PUBLISHED: 28 May 2012


“Originality, ingenuity, and brilliance do not even begin to do justice to this amazing study, this architectural forensics of battle and human rights as pieced together from the study of the ruin and the terrifying logic of “the lesser evil”. How astonishing to see our new world this new way.”
Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University



May 29, 2012, 7pm
14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL
Eyal Weizman will be discussing his new book with Paul Gilroy, Professor of Social History at the LSE, who has said, “Eyal Weizman's work has become an indispensable source of both insight and guidance in these difficult times. He understands the evolving dynamics of war and sovereignty better than anyone.”

For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/454-eyal-weizman-on-humanitarian-violence

June 6, 2012, 7.00pm
A.M. Qattan Foundation Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road
London SW5 0SW UK

Eyal Weizman appears at The Mosaic Rooms to talk about his new book on the principle of the “lesser evil” and its political consequences, The Least Of All Possible Evils.

For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/437-eyal-weizman-the-least-of-all-possible-evils


The principle of the “lesser evil”—the acceptability of pursuing one exceptional course of action in order to prevent a greater injustice—has long been a cornerstone of Western ethical philosophy. From its roots in classical ethics and Christian theology, to Hannah Arendt’s exploration of the work of the Jewish Councils during the Nazi regime, Weizman explores its development in three key transformations of the problem: the defining intervention of Médecins Sans Frontières in mid-1980s Ethiopia; the separation wall in Israel-Palestine; and international and human rights law in Bosnia, Gaza and Iraq. Drawing on a wealth of new research, Weizman charts the latest manifestation of this age-old idea. In doing so he shows how military and political intervention acquired a new “humanitarian” acceptability and legality in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.



“Eyal Weizman’s work has become an indispensable source of both insight and guidance in these difficult times. He understands the evolving dynamics of war and sovereignty better than anyone.”Paul Gilroy, Professor of Social History, London School of Economics

“This is a wonderful book, written with clarity, precision, and passion. It takes the reader into the heart of contemporary necro-politics and calculations of “lesser evils” by powerful states and their humanitarian accomplices. Deeply learned and informative on every page, this is essential reading for anyone who cares about contemporary conditions of warfare and state-controlled violence; about the spatial practices that reinforce and regulate systemic forms of violence, such as the calculation of minimal requirements for human survival. In the spirit of Doctors Without Borders, Weizman is an architect without borders, at home in political philosophy, military history, just war theory, and the spatial systems of controlled, calculated violence that constitute Israel–Palestine, and much of the world today.” W. J. T. Mitchell, Professor of English and Art History, University of Chicago


“The most astonishing book on architecture that I have read in years.” Edwin Heathcote, FINANCIAL TIMES

“Eyal Weizman brilliantly deconstructs Israel’s yoking of traditionally humanist disciplines and discourse to the service of its campaign against the Palestinians. This book is chilling but essential reading.” Ahdaf Soueif

“A masterpiece of political analysis.”
James Ron, The NATION

“Eyal Weizman has taken Edward Said’s thesis to a new level, generating extraordinary, and at times surreally uncomfortable, conclusions…Weizman’s book is of salutary interest.” Jay Merrick, INDEPENDENT

“ Weizman takes his readers on a tour of the visible and invisible ways in which Israel implements its control over Palestinians... Hollow Land is eloquent about the architectural chaos and confusion created by Israel in the Occupied Territories. ”
 LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS<http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n15/yonatan-mendel/imagined-territories>

“A passionate jeremiad.”

“Weizman’s rigorous account makes it possible momentarily to conceive of... built environment as a tool of liberation.” FRIEZE


EYAL WEIZMAN is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he directs the Centre for Research Architecture and the European Research Council funded project Forensic Architecture. He is also a founder member of the collective Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in Bethlehem, Palestine. He is the author of HOLLOW LAND and co-editor of A CIVILIAN OCCUPATION. He lives in London.


ISBN: 978 1 84467 647 7 / $26.95 / £16.99 Hardback / 208 pages


For more information about THE LEAST OF ALL POSSIBLE EVILS or to buy the book visit:


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