CCS Faculty Fellow Isaac Reed’s new book, Power in Modernity: Agency Relations and the Creative Destruction of the King’s Two Bodies, is now available from University of Chicago Press.
Margaret Somers (University of Michigan) writes that “Power in Modernity is a startlingly original meditation on the meaning, morality, and madness of modern power. To explain the workings—and the violence—of ‘chains of power,’ Reed evokes the traces of the medieval trope by which the sacred and enduring authority of the king’s body politic overdetermined the king’s profane and mortal body. Following the new template of power brought to life with the overthrow of the ‘King’s Two Bodies,’ Reed leads us on a journey—from the Salem witch trials to the Whiskey Rebellion, from the French Revolution to ‘the edge of empire’—that leaves you breathless from the revelations and rebellions encountered along the way. In this unparalleled work of social theory, Reed has produced a masterpiece. But fair warning: Prepare to have your mind blown!”
In fall 2019, Reed published “The King’s Two Bodies and the Crisis of Liberal Modernity,” in The Hedgehog Review, which develops some of the ideas in Power in Modernity for an analysis of the rise of right-wing populism in the USA and around the globe.