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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 August 2009
If you have struggled to understand Critical Theory - and who hasn't - then this book is a great first step.
It explains the basics of this all-encompassing, and sometimes seemingly impenetrable theory - but it uses illustrations to do it!
There are plenty of words as well - of course - but the illustrations certainly seem to make the learning easier!
If you are a visual learner - like me - it's great, and I suspect if you are any other kind of learner you will get something out of it as well.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2011
I learnt more about Critica Therory with the help of this little 'comic' book than during three years of study as part of a University degree in Media Studies. Critical Theory was a big part of the course but until now (14 years later) I can't say I had a clear idea of what it was all about. Great series, I'm now reading the 'Philosophy' guide of the same series (albeit in its App form - available for the iPhone/iPod Touch)and it's proving to be just as good.
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Law school students have relied for decades on a series of books in the "Nutshell" series. Each volume is an authoritative introduction to a particular subject. (As broad as "Property" or as focused as "Indian Law".) Those books try to provide a complete outline of a body of law, capturing both the big picture and in depth specifics. While such books are valuable, they tend to be too simple, obvious or general for experienced professionals and yet too detailed and difficult for complete novices. They work best for students who are in or have just completed a first class in the subject. Those students have enough general grounding to get some traction into the subject, but can benefit from both general outline and specific topic help.

All of that is by way of introducing this book. It is not quite at the Nutshell level, in that it is a very, very broad introduction to the topic. On any particular topic, theory or school there is only a brief sketch or description. That is not necessarily a criticism, (hah; did I use "criticism" properly? Read the book to decide), because this field is so complex it warrants a 175 page introduction. If you have some background in critical theory this book will help you organize your thoughts, but probably won't add much new to your understanding. If you are knowledgeable in the field you will probably just note places where you disagree with the author's choices or emphasis.

However, if you are an interested novice who is curious about critical theory, and want the equivalent of the first lecture from a survey course or the annotated reading list for a survey course, this would be an excellent choice.

Please note that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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on 20 October 2013
This book is a great way of getting into a subject without the slog of having to find a book that 'works for you'. Easy to read with clear visual representations of what can be, a difficult subject to grasp.
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on 8 October 2013
Useful guide to Western political philosophy from Marx to the present time. Very useful as a review for those taking a critical theory or critical thinking class.
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on 19 July 2014
I didn't find this to be an introductory text at all. Nor an easy read. Started off well, introducing and defining terms as it went, but swiftly gave up on the definitions and just dropped in 'hegemony' without batting an eyelid. I'm new to the subject and was hoping for a nice easy intro to the complex analysis of art and culture that lots of art critics spout.
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on 28 June 2014
Arrived in time and in good condition

Contentwise a two star. I had expected something better, a rather superficial analysis, with gaps and a forced wittiness
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on 24 August 2014
A useful introductory guide.
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on 4 September 2013
I read this book in a couple of hours and felt like I had a good grasp on what critical theory is .
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on 13 February 2016
Great product
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