SAN FRANCISCO/ — It may seem that, by now, Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy has been analyzed, and criticized, from every possible angle. But many of his fans think the criticisms are unfair and that analysis is needless. They think Trump’s tough talk is simply common sense. That standpoint—the notion of “common sense”— is what Dean Wolfe Manders critiques in this lively discussion of popular sayings, proverbs, mottos, and catch-phrases—the distilled “common sense” of American working people, and the fertile seedbed of Trump’s rise to national influence.
The Hegemony of Common Sense is a path-breaking synthesis, a unique contribution to the study of class and consciousness. In the flagship publication of Looking Up Press, Dean Manders brings critical theory to bear on the links between American popular sayings, ideology, and the daily dynamics of class domination. Displaying a rich intellectual palette, and a sharp critical agenda, The Hegemony of Common Sense explores the interior of common sense, the taken-for-granted and often contradictory ideas that saturate daily life, where they hide, in effect, in plain sight. This is the lived terrain of American democracy—the cultural grounds of Donald Trump’sotherwise nearly opaque ascent.
The celebrated cultural historian and critic Howard Zinn says this about The Hegemony of Common Sense: the “book is enormously impressive, truly original as a work of political theory. I know of no other work that explores class and its relationship to popular consciousness in the thoughtful and incisive way you have done. You have clearly read widely among social theorists and drawn from them what is useful for your thesis. I welcome your book especially because there is such a mistaken idea, especially among European intellectuals, but also in this nation, about the apparent lack of class consciousness, the failure to see such consciousness manifested in many different ways. This failure has important consequences for political action, for any strategy for social change.”
Dean Wolfe Manders received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his MA and Ph.D. fromBrandeis University. He has previously published works in both the United States and Europe. He has taught extensively in the Boston and San Francisco Bay areas and at the International Peoples College in Helsingør , Denmark. –