Reading List

Radical Thinkers: Derrida, Butler, Adorno, and more


2020 marks Verso's 50th anniversary, which makes these reissues of Radical Thinkers an important one! This latest collection features some of our most important books from across the series, featuring Judith Butler, Jacqueline Rose, Theodor Adorno, Jacques Derrida, and Raymond Williams.

Joining this theoretical Autumn reading bundle is our new biography of Derrida by Peter Salmon. To some, Derrida is the originator of a relativist philosophy responsible for the contemporary crisis of truth. To his academic critics, he reduced French philosophy to “little more than an object of ridicule.” For the far right, he is one of the architects of Cultural Marxism. In An Event, Perhaps, Peter Salmon presents this misunderstood and misappropriated figure as a deeply humane and urgent thinker for our times.

Don't forget: if you are are a Verso Book Club member you can purchase everything on our website at 50% off (you just need to be signed into your account)! Members at the Comrade level will receive An Event, Perhaps and Derrida's The Politics of Friendship as part of their October reading. There is still time to sign up here!

Philosopher, film star, father of “post truth”—the real story of Jacques Derrida.

Accessible, provocative and beautifully written, An Event, Perhaps will introduce a new readership to the life and work of a philosopher whose influence over the way we think will continue long into the twenty-first century.

In her most impassioned and personal book to date, Judith Butler responds in this profound appraisal of post-9/11 America to the current US policies to wage perpetual war, and calls for a deeper understanding of how mourning and violence might instead inspire solidarity and a quest for global justice.

“O, my friends, there is no friend.” The most influential of contemporary philosophers explores the idea of friendship and its political consequences, past and future.


No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.

In Sexuality in the Field of Vision, Jacqueline Rose argues for the importance of sexual difference and fantasy as key concepts through which an interrogation of contemporary theory should be sustained.

Raymond Williams is a towering presence in cultural studies, most importantly as the founder of the apporach that has come to be known as “cultural materialism.” Yet Williams’s method was always open-ended and fluid, and this volume collects together his most significant work from over a twenty-year peiod in which he wrestled with the concepts of materialism and culture and their interrelationship.


See all our Radical Thinkers here!