The Performer: Art, Life, Politics (Hardcover)

The Performer: Art, Life, Politics By Richard Sennett Cover Image
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An acclaimed sociologist’s exploration of the connections among performances in life, art, and politics
In The Performer, Richard Sennett explores the relations between performing in art (particularly music), politics, and everyday experience. It focuses on the bodily and physical dimensions of performing, rather than on words. Sennett is particularly attuned to the ways in which the rituals of ordinary life are performances.
The book draws on history and sociology, and more personally on the author’s early career as a professional cellist, as well as on his later work as a city planner and social thinker. It traces the evolution of performing spaces in the city; the emergence of actors, musicians, and dancers as independent artists; the inequality between performer and spectator; the uneasy relations between artistic creation and social and religious ritual; the uses and abuses of acting by politicians. The Janus-faced art of performing is both destructive and civilizing.

About the Author

Richard Sennett is the Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and former University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. He lives in London and New York City.

Praise For…

“Urgent, penetrating, moving. Another masterwork from a master thinker.”—Ian Bostridge, author of Song and Self: A Singer’s Reflections on Music and Performance​

“A masterpiece from one of the most important cultural theorists of our time. The Performer is, at once, a memoir, an investigation, a sociological treatise, and a manifesto for rethinking humanity’s next act.”—Eric Klinenberg, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences, New York University

“An inspiring essay on performance and ritual, packed with insights. Essential reading for anyone interested in public space and the city.”—Anna Minton, author of Big Capital: Who Is London For?

“Richard Sennett calls on his vast knowledge of theater and performance to argue for the social uses of civility—and against the degradation of public social space brought by demagogues such as Donald Trump. This is a book that ranges widely while speaking forcefully to our current needs.”—Peter Brooks, Yale University

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300272901
ISBN-10: 0300272901
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English