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24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  172 reviews
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep  explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life.

Jonathan Crary examines ho
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Verso (first published 2013)
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Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After Trump won the US election on November 8th, I stopped reading non-fiction books as reality seemed so appalling that I sought escapism. While reintroducing myself to them with ‘24/7’, I realised this was a terrible mistake on my part. Avoiding non-fiction books obviously did not equate to avoiding reality, nor did it prevent my perpetually analysing the present state of disaster. I found myself dissecting allegedly dystopian novels (of which I seem to have read 10 in the last two months!) fo ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is as sharp a work of critical theory as I've read in some time. Crary doesn't really have a thesis he wants to prove, just a central concept he orbits around; namely that capitalism is re-orienting and demolishing our most basic conception of biological time cycles and that that re-ordering is not merely incidental but gets to the heart of so much of our cultural and technological exhaustion.

For a work of theory this is highly accessible, and while he quotes the usual grab bag of philosoph
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I first encountered Jonathan Crary in graduate school - his "Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century", an astonishingly read. The premise of 24/7 is compelling: sleep is the last barrier that capitalism faces in its quest to control all of human life. And today, sleep itself is in great danger. Crary, however, disappoints somewhat - the book lacks a clear structure, and the author seems to mistake interdisciplinarity for "let me quote every major French and ...more
Dr. Lloyd E. Campbell
May 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Simplistic application of a Marxist paradigm applied to a complex topic. No analysis of physiology or purposes of sleep. Asserts that capitalists want to end sleep because they can't sell it. He could have written this idea on the back of a postage stamp and saved himself some time, perhaps gotten some sleep.
Stewart Home
Sep 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
“The phenomenon of blogging is one example – of many – of the triumph of a one-way model of auto-chattering in which the possibility of ever having to wait and listen to someone else has been eliminated. Blogging no matter what its intentions, is thus one of the many announcements of the end of politics” 24/7� page 124.

This is so wrong it has to be right! Or rather it would have been wrong in 2007 but might be right in 2013 – now that spam comments have become such a problem that many bloggers t
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book that made me critical of late capitalism and inspired me to learn more about anti-capitalism and socialism. Capitalism is a ravenous machine and as Immanuel Wallerstein posited, it is separate from previous forms of economics because it continues to accumulate wealth and seek greater and greater profits. There is no endgame in capitalism.

This book shows that that insatiable drive has inspired bizarre and dystopian advances, including methods by which to eliminate sleep or even commodif
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
A handful of interesting ideas overwhelmed by relentless, simplistic, and superficial name-dropping. It reads a lot like the author ran out of things to say before reaching book-length, so instead of presenting a more thorough case based on reliable research he decided to show off how many philosophers' names he knew - from Hobbes to Debord. These references are often uncritical, ignorant of recent scholarship, and weaken the central thesis by framing the argument in terms of questionable, probl ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
god we're so fucked
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory
yo dude , our reality is a non-social model of machinic performance and a suspension of living that does not disclose the human cost required to sustain its effectiveness. we're invited to consume at any time of day or night. gotta hit that ig feed refresh at 3:30 am.

sleep is our RELEASE from capitalism!!! let's get that 7.5 or 9 hrs of sleep comrades.

take back our day dreams, give our smooth brains a scratch
Crary's fascinating work on visual culture and my interest in the time-consciousness of modernity led me to great expectations for this volume and I am a little underwhelmed. i was specifically after a contemporary account of late-modernity as a permanentized state of transition (a modernist truism taken-up by anyone from Benjamin to Voegelin) and Crary's focus on the neoliberal deregulation of time seemed a perfect fit. The book is excellently written and contains a number of valuable insights ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A terrifying philosophical exploration of capitalist temporality in its late stages, in which the cyclical rhythms which characterize many of the relationships between human and extra-human natures, the differentiated tempos of contingency and history-making, and even the restorative and arguably creative temporalities of sleep and reverie are increasingly subordinated to the 24/7 time of capital accumulation. Crary's describes nothing less than the obliteration of daily life by the structural c ...more
Oliver Bateman
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A fun-to-read mash-up of Deleuze, Debord, Sartre, Foucault, PK Dick, and all the other "so gr8 they're gr9" thinkers we all know and <3. Crary's long essay was well worth what I paid for it ($1 during an awesome Verso e-book sale), given that it was better than any magazine available at that price point, and he provides a fine framework for understanding how post-late capitalism (it's a thing!) has very nearly succeeded at fashioning the 24/7 world. The solution to this crisis? Sleep, perchance ...more
Rei Avocado
it took me so long to finish this. maybe over a year? and it really isnt a long read. i expected this book to be about, well, capitalism and sleep. but then it ended up being about like...philosophy and shit. i mean, its alright. its not awful or anything. its just way too verbose for its own good. like, jonathan crary has some interesting ideas but ultimately this comes off as more of a philosophical exercise. and thats unfair to the whole premise behind this book.

crarys writing is way too 'ac
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1960s
While reading the first chapter, I decided that I would re-read the entire book as soon as I finished. During the second chapter, I couldn't wait for the book to end.

This is THE book on the relationship between capitalism and sleep. Crary believes that there is an irreconcilable antagonism between the two. To him, sleep is analogous to nature and all the connectedness that it evokes, whereas capitalism is a system of relentlessly asocial, destructive activity. He illustrates this with a critiqu
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although there were some ideas to be gleaned from this pamphlet of a book, I felt like the Marxist discourse clouded the issue quite a bit. This might be because I am not well-versed enough in philosophy to appreciate the intricacy of the arguments. Maybe it is itself a result of what Mr. Crary calls the "counter-revolution" of neo-liberalism. I find it hard to identify with a thesis that relies heavily on the personification of modernity as an intrinsically nefarious entity that is "out to get" ...more
J. Moufawad-Paul
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wish I'd read this a year ago since so much of it eclipsed with one section of my book Austerity Apparatus. I would have loved to reference it, since some of its insights of subject formation would have provided depth to my concept of the anxious subject.

In any case, highly recommended for people who think that current social media technologies are neutral or, even worse, essentially progressive. This book will challenge that thinking.
Melody Newby
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved this book. The introduction really intrigued me. I got lost in the middle as the language is very academic so I found myself re-reading paragraphs every so often.

I think about sleep in a more political way now. It is the one activity that separates us from global capitalism...from a world where one can continuously produce, and consume at any given moment. We do not sleep...we rest in sleep-mode...ready to contribute to capitalism at any given moment.

I need sleep- the revolutionary kin
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: critical-theory
More of an exciting academic party piece than a grand unified theory. I enjoyed it because of its brevity and suggestiveness. Crary is not brimming with brilliant insights. Instead, he is doing the spadework for us to begin thinking about the utter obscenity of this concept of 24/7ness. I am not persuaded that sleep is a refusal of capital logic for the simple reason that the content of our dreams are populated by our everyday and that everyday is saturated by capital. But Crary's ideas are good ...more
Matthew Hinea
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
this book has radically altered how i feel about technology's role in global capitalism. here are some sentences from the book which i highly recommend reading:

"Real-life activities that do not have an online correlate begin to atrophy, or cease to be relevant. There is an insurmountable asymmetry that degrades any local event or exchange. Because of the infinity of content accessible 24/7, there will always be something online more informative, funny, diverting, impressive than anything in one'
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
The basic premise here is sound: that sleep, a bastion of natural human behavior, is being eroded by the "non-time" of capitalism along with the rest of social cohesiveness. It's well written and informative.

However, as with most Marxists (and I am certainly a Marxist), this book suffers from ahistoric romanticism of the past as some sort of agrarian utopia. Crary is also a bit too doom-and-gloomy for my taste, though he's not necessarily *wrong*. For example, he is very reductive of blogging an
Ayanna Dozier
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
To me, the first three chapters read like an extended introduction. Crary's argument really picks up by the fourth, and last chapter. Because of the vagueness in the first three chapters, Crary's argument suffers because of the lack of depth. Tis' shame because the fourth chapter begins to really tackle issues surrounding capitalism and rest that are, in many ways, unprecedented due to new technology in the age of modernity.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
sleep, it's revolutionary
Giovanni Gregory
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet kind of manifesto.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
brilliant and unnerving... a detailed treatise on the pervasive intrusion of market capitalism into our lives, and how sleep, the last frontier of non-commodofication, is being hipped away by technology and those in power... i loved this book... lots of smarty references to books, some i have read and some not (yet); plenty of name-dropping (Foucault!, Debord, Sartre, Jameson, etc.) but not in a "fuckoff, dumbass!" way... they aid and abet the theory he puts forth... scads of historical placemen ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.75 stars] Many of the ideas in this were super fascinating to me and ones I want to explore thinking about more. It presented many interesting concepts not just on sleep but also collectivity as well as social media that we’re new perspectives for me. The things I did not love about this book were the many references to canonical European philosophers and obscure art films that made me feel like I was in film school again—I don’t think those necessarily strengthened his argument, and I would ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reads
Hm sleep good

I’ll probably come back to this because Crary namedrops books and authors every 5 pages so
Bolivar Escobar
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
And I thought I was a pessimist
Simon Cox
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very enlightening cultural history of how we came to be trapped in a 24/7 mindset by the tentacles of late capitalism. I don't agree with all of the propositions but it really made me think.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Despite so much of the organised and orthodox Left being grounded in historical analyses, on the whole we are not that good at making sense of time, so this short (about 130 pages) book that sets out to explore the changes wrought by the growth of continuous capitalism should be welcomed. Crary’s background in art/theory means that he brings a sophisticated engagement with an array of philosophical and political analyses – Sartre, Stiegler, Bauman, Deleuze and Guatarri, Debord and others all mak ...more
Mr Siegal

This was an interesting read. The author has some penetrating ideas about how, with the advent of 24/7 life, we are giving up more and more of our social fabric over to capitalism. Overall, it paints a nightmarish picture, one that I agree with.

However, though the book was an enjoyable read, I found it to be a bit sloppy. For instance, Crary writes in p.40 that “billions of dollar are spent every year researching how to reduce decision-making time, how to eliminate the useless time o
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Jonathan Crary is an art critic and essayist and is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University in New York. His first notable works were Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the 19th Century(1990), and Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle and Modern Culture (2000). He has published critical essays for over 30 Exhibition catalogues, mostly ...more

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56 likes · 27 comments
“Sleep is an uncompromising interruption of the theft of time from us by capitalism.” 5 likes
“Through the appropriation of public spaces and resources into the logic of the marketplace, individuals are dispossessed of many collective forms of mutual support or sharing. A simple and pervasive cooperative practice like hitchhiking had to be inverted into a risk-filled act with fearful, even lethal consequences. Now it has reached the point of laws being enacted in parts of the United States that criminalize giving food to the homeless or to undocumented immigrants.” 4 likes
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