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Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism

(Historical Materialism #30)

4.4  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Monsters of the Market investigates the rise of capitalism through the prism of the body-panics it arouses. Drawing on folklore, literature and popular culture, the book links tales of monstrosity from early-modern England, including Mary Shelley s Frankenstein, to a spate of recent vampire- and zombie-fables from sub-Saharan Africa, and it connects these to Marx s persist ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Brill (first published January 1st 2011)
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tom bomp
so basically vampires are capitalists, the undead are workers, stripped of their individuality etc by capitalism and becoming pure labour power. stories of monsters and magic help defetishise capitalism by exposing the unnaturalness of it. talk of monsters has been used by the working class to show how unnatural it is and by the ruling class to mark off workers. stuff about dismemberment and anatomy dissections as ruling class punishment on the poor and also symbolic of what workers became (ie c ...more
Tara Brabazon
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best, most evocative, most courageous and potent book I have read this year. I am pretty obsessed with books exploring the financial crisis. Why have 'we' accepted this zombie capitalism after the GFC? Why has this crazy 'business as usual' continued - even after the clear failure of neo-liberalism and finance capitalism in 2008?

David McNally answers my questions. He arches back to proto-industrial systems of inequality and reveals the metaphors and actualities of monsters, grave rob
...more
Sara-Maria Sorentino
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
"To grasp the invisible powers of capitalist exploitation and accumulation requires the night-vision made possible by a dialectical optics"
Matt Sautman
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned about this book at the Midwest British Studies conference, and as soon as I realized that McNally's work here pertained to an ongoing project of mine related to a postcolonial reading of space in Clive Barker's Hellraiser, I ordered the book right away. Although Monsters of the Market does not touch Hellraiser or any of its contemporaries, McNally does engage with a wealth of Marxist analysis of zombies and vampires across numerous cultures, as well as Frankenstein's monster. The end r ...more
Tucker
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is prudent and ethical to distinguish good monsters from bad. (p. 11) It's not just the big bank failures that are monstrous...it's the whole system in daily life. “…it is a paradox of our age that monsters are both everywhere and nowhere.” (p. 2)
Stef Rozitis
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great expose of the way capitalism works to alienate and appropriate us. It looked at various novels (such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) then travelled via connections to Marx to Africa to look at the colonialism, needless poverty, laboring there and the way all this has given rise to stories about zombies and witches.

It was a tough read and written in very large, dense chunks but worth the effort. One of my favourite things was the way he kept nodding to feminism, critiquing e
...more
Mark
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review is at press for science fiction scholarship journal _Extrapolation_. Suffice to say here that this is one of the most importatn and most creative scholarly books I've read, ranking with works like White and Stallybrass' _Politics and Poetics of Transgression_ as an essential explanation of everyday life under globalized late capitalism.
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