On the Abolition of All Political Parties

 (image via  cleavermagazine.com )

The first NYRB reissue I picked up was Christopher Priest's The Inverted World - how can you refuse a book with that title? - and was hooked immediately. Then came Cassandra at the Wedding, Lolly Willowes, The Dud Avacado in quick succession. The NYRB series hasn't let me down once, and in fact has introduced me to several life-changing books. When I was a bookseller, I'd often suggest NYRB Classics to adventurous customers who were in the mood for anything interesting. Simone Weil's On the Abolition of All Political Parties is particularly interesting at a moment when her articulate critique of "mob mentality" couldn't be more timely. The adherence to party doctrine which hamstrings its members is, to most, a frustrating fact of reality, but is to Weil a symptom of a very large evil. Written in the aftermath of World War II, On the Abolition has piercing relevance to today's political quagmire. It is a swift, eye-opening read, and bears all the trademarks of what makes NYRB Classics such a unique and exciting series.

For more on the NYRB series listen to series editor Edwin Frank on the podcast the Theory of Everything.