The Cyberflâneur #5: Samuel Moyn

This week we are pleased to feature 10 excellent articles and books chosen by Samuel Moyn, Professor of Jurisprudence and History at Yale. His most recent book “Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World” is a powerful contribution to our understanding of how human rights relate to social and economic justice. Samuel follows in the cyberflâneurial footsteps of Brian Eno, Hito Steyerl, Adam Tooze and most recently Rana Foroohar.


Drone Warfare in Waziristan and the New Military Humanism | Current Anthropology

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Hugh Gusterson argues that drones, whatever their capacity for more humane war, are dangerous precisely because they are not unerringly used in this spirit, contrary to the expectations of their operators. I’m not sure I agree with his account but it is thought-provoking and well-informed.

Empire after 9/11: Race, Law, Trauma, Drone Warfare | State University of New York

Samuel Moyn’s comment: This American studies dissertation reads post-9/11 novels with special attention to Muslim radicalization, while not neglecting resistance in Pakistani tribal areas.

Heroic Memory and Contemporary War | International Review of the Red Cross

Samuel Moyn’s comment: This piece suggestively charts the fall of heroic mode – but frighteningly argues that a post-heroic mode is more compatible with exterminatory wars than before.

Obama’s War on Terror: the Emergence of Drone Warfare | Leiden University

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Essential to understanding the rise of drone warfare is the policymaking of Barack Obama and his men and women – a puzzle this recent thesis takes on.

Donald Trump meets Carl Schmitt | International Theory

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Armed with a good title, political theorist Bill Scheuerman struggles to reconcile liberal critiques of populism today with acknowledgment of economic factors.

Can Christian Democracy Save Us? | Boston Review

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Historian Udi Greenberg interrogates an important new account of Christian Democracy by Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, doubting its contemporary viability in the face of new challenges.

The Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age | Yale University Press

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Towards the beginnings of the book trade, the Dutch conquered all – and this book tells how.

Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe | Oxfrod University Press

Samuel Moyn’s comment: This fascinating-sounding book by a great historian tells of book hijinks during World War II – I can’t wait!

Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction | The Paris Review

Samuel Moyn’s comment: This piece revisits Sven Birkerts’ “The Gutenberg Elegies” when book reading is even more far gone (though indications are that book sales continue to rise).

The Critical Bite of Cultural Relativism | Boston Review

Samuel Moyn’s comment: Emphasizing the women protagonists in Charles King’s new portrait of Franz Boas and his students, the brilliant Gili Kliger turns in a fascinating account of self and other.

More about our Cyberflâneur series. You can also take a look at the previous versions of the Cyberflâneur: Brian Eno, Hito Steyerl, Adam Tooze, Rana Foroohar.


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