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15 Works 1,346 Members 10 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Manuel DeLanda is a distinguished writer, artist, and philosopher. He began his career in experimental film, later becoming a computer artist, and programmer. He is now Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Includes the names: Manuel De Landa, Manuel de De Landa

Image credit: Manuel De Landa talking at a lecture in Amsterdam in 2011

Works by Manuel DeLanda


Common Knowledge




As a different perspective on history, it's fascinating and well worth reading. It doesn't always successfully avoid a teleological perspective and sometimes it feels like "description of history. this happened because nonlinear stuff" without a real connection but it does a pretty good job considering. It works pretty great as a history in itself, too. The conclusion doesn't really explain itself too great, which is the one real annoyance I have. I have a few problems with the theory from a Marxist perspective but as a well argued and relatively unusual perspective that challenges preconceptions and redefines them it's excellent and I recommend it.

[I should note the two things that stood out to me, both minor asides unrelated to the rest of the book but both annoying. He says that a labour theory of value believes a broken thing can be just as valuable as a thing that works as though he's just destroyed it, ignoring ideas of utility. He says that terms like patriarchy aren't useful because they imply society wide deliberate structure (something like that) when it's hard to see patriarchy as anything else - descriptive terms are still useful even if the exact mechanism by which they work isn't completely defined]
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tombomp | 6 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
A really, really difficult read for me. My rating could be higher if I had been able to have the mental stamina for this, but I read it during the COVID-19 pandemic and was just a bit too much for me. He contrasts human history to the physical history of the planet, and the main gist is that things aren't preordained or linear; history is a "tree with many branches," and lots of variables go into which branches will strengthen and which will wither. If you're going to read this, be prepared to put in the time. The font changes throughout are rather odd and in many places just too small, which made comprehension even more difficult for me. As for reading for pleasure, this didn't do the trick for me, I could use a Cliffs Notes version to pierce through the fog.… (more)
waitingtoderail | 6 other reviews | May 26, 2020 |
Delanda is one of my favorite philosophers - who comes from outside the box and bridges the digital computational world with the continental philosophers - especially Deleuze. Not always easily accessible but always insightful. Worth the read.
johnverdon | Dec 11, 2018 |
This was not a piece of cake. De Landa looks at the history of the last millennium in a highly philosophical, structuralistic kind of way, with the use of a very elaborate terminological toolkit. I appreciated his plea to look at history in a nonlinear way, without a manifest destiny, as the result of intensively interactive processes on multiple levels. And I particularly appreciated his stress on cities as laboratories where historical processes are accelerated (Braudel). But the very theoretical approach and the constant use of structuralist terminology (in line with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari) was not my cup of tea; on top of that it was my impression that De Landa’s view just is a sophisticated version of materialism.… (more)
bookomaniac | 6 other reviews | Sep 28, 2017 |

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