How We Walk: Frantz Fanon and the Politics of the Body

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  • Prix régulier $33.95
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    Matthew Beaumont

    Publisher: Verso

    Year: 2024

    Format: Hardcover

    Size: 225 pages

    ISBN: 9781804290071

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How race, class, and politics influence the way we move

You can tell a lot about people by how they walk. Matthew Beaumont argues that our standing, walking body holds the social traumas of history and its racialized inequalities. Our posture and gait reflect our social and political experiences as we navigate the city under capitalism. Through a series of dialogues with thinkers and walkers, his book explores the relationship between freedom and the human body

How We Walk foregrounds the work of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist and leading thinker of liberation, who was one of the first people to think about the politics of ‘walking while black’. It also introduces us to the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, who wrote that one could discern the truth about a person through their posture and gait. For Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, the ability to walk upright and with ease is a sign of personal and social freedom.

Through these excursions, Beaumont reimagines the canonical literature on walking and presents a new interpretation of the impact of class and race on our physical and political mobility, raising important questions about the politics of the body.

What People Are Saying
"Beaumont is one of the most brilliant of the younger generation of English critics" Terry Eagleton, author of How to Read Literature

"In this fascinating and wide-ranging book, Beaumont reminds us that walking is far from a neutral activity; it is, rather, “irreducibly political”. With the help of Frantz Fanon, Beaumont locates freedom at the level of the body; free from the systems of oppression, exploitation, and harassment." 
Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse

"Easily translating abstruse philosophical concepts into fluid prose, Beaumont sheds light on the inherent impossibility of existing as a Black body in a colonialized society ... Assured and erudite, this is well worth a look." 
Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
Matthew Beaumont, a Professor of English Literature at University College London, is the author of several books for Verso, including Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London (2015), The Walker: On Finding and Losing Yourself in the Modern City (2020) and How We Walk: Frantz Fanon and the Politics of the Body (2024). He is also the author of Lev Shestov: Philosopher of the Sleepless Night (2021). For Verso, he has co-authored The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue (2009) and co-edited Restless Cities (2010).

Tags: cultural studies ....... Ernst Bloch ....... Frantz Fanon ....... Matthew Beaumont ....... Philosophy ....... racism ....... Verso .......