The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism & Barbarism


Richard Seymour
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SKU: 978-1911648413 Category:

A Format paperback 178mm x 11mm with flaps
208 pages
22 April 2022
ISBN 978-1911648413
Cover design © Luke Bird

Cover photo: detail from Ice cave, Scott Base, Ross Island, Antarctica, December 7, 1975 by Eliot Porter
Cover photo © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra / Bridgeman Images

From Richard Seymour, one of the UK’s leading public intellectuals, comes a characteristic blend of forensic insight and analysis, personal journey, and a vivid respect for the natural world.

A planetary fever-dream. An environmental awakening that is also a sleep-walking, unsteadily weaving between history, earth science, psychoanalysis, evolution, biology, art and politics. A search for transcendence, beyond the illusory eternal present.

These essays chronicle the kindling of ecological consciousness in a confessed ignoramus. They track the first enchantment of the author, his striving to comprehend the coming catastrophe, and his attempt to formulate a new global sensibility in which we value anew what unconditionally matters.

Richard’s book The Twittering Machine was a Bookseller Book of the Week, and received rave reviews in the Guardian, Observer, FT, Spectator and Tatler.

Richard’s previous book, Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics, sold over 9,000 copies (978-1784785314 & 978-1786632999) and was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Times Higher Education.


‘What thinker would you bring to an earth on fire? You would not want to leave Richard Seymour at home: he is essential company for an age of compound catastrophes. In these essays, he brings his trademark mix of psychoanalysis and Marxism, erudition and curiosity, pessimism and wonder, intimacy and sublimity to bear on the ecological crisis. They will keep you focused as the flames rise higher.’
Andreas Malm, author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline and White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism

Richard Seymour’s latest book, which consists of urgent, eloquent bulletins from the catastrophic future into which we are currently being blown back at such a rapidly accelerating rate, is a characteristically cool-headed critique of capitalism, but also a passionate, often profoundly affecting threnody to that which it so cruelly destroys. The Disenchanted Earth combines Marxism’s cold and warm streams to brilliant effect, finding beauty and hope in the ugly, hopeless situation to which we appear to have condemned ourselves as a species. Seymour’s attitude of militant melancholia is exactly what is needed in these times.
Matthew Beaumont, author of The Walker: On Finding and Losing Yourself in the Modern City

‘This book made me anxious, gave me nightmares, and threw me into a terrible rage. It’s excellent — I’ve been recommending it to everyone.’
Anouchka Grose, psychoanalyst and author of A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health

‘A haunting set of meditations on the almost unthinkable ecological crises that now engulf us, and their relentless political and economic causes. This is a book for anyone who refuses to turn away from truths that are as important as they are discomforting.’
William Davies, author of Unprecedented?: How Covid-19 Revealed the Politics of Our Economy

‘One of the most consistently brilliant and lyrical thinkers writing today turns his attention to the climate catastrophe – and the results are minatory and indispensable.’
China Miéville, author of October: The Story of the Russian Revolution


Praise for The Twittering Machine

‘Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style. Everything he writes is worth reading.’
Gary Younge, Editor-at-Large, Guardian

‘If you really want to set yourself free you should read a book – preferably this one.’
Observer, Book of the Week

‘A thrilling demonstration of what [resistance] can look like … everyone should read it.’

‘Clever, and alarming … a first tentative vision of what a neo-luddite response to our predicament might look like.’

‘Seymour’s compulsively argued book may just be the intervention we all need.’

Media Coverage for The Twittering Machine

Politics Theory Other for Acast, 23 October 2021: Richard Seymour on the UK’s new Covid wave

Katherine Angel for The White Review, 22 December 2020: ‘Books of the Year’

Jacobin Weekends, 12 December 2020: ‘Woke Biden Cabinet, Indian Strikes, & Social Media Industry w/ Richard Seymour’

LA Review of Books Podcast, 23 October 2020: ‘Friending Thanatos: Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine’

Cristina D’Amico for Rabble, 16 January 2020: Opting out of digital serfdom”

Owen Hatherley for Tribune, 12 January 2020: ‘Interview with Richard Seymour’

Politics Theory Other, 1 January 2020: ‘PTO Books of the year’

Oliver Eagleton for New Left Review, 17 December 2019: ‘Mind-forged Manacles?’

Rowan Fortune for Medium, 29 November 2019: ‘Utopia & Dystopia: Online Capitalism’

Richard Seymour for New Statesman, 27 November 2019: We are witnessing the end of the “Twitter Revolution”’

Mark Murphy for Rs21, 16 November 2019: ‘Review: The Twittering Machine’

Katrina Forrester for New Statesman, 13 November 2019: ‘Best books of the year 2019’

David Capener for The Irish Times, 9 November 2019: ‘Brief review of The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour’

Richard Seymour for Financial Times, 4 November 2019: ‘How addictive social media fuels online abuse’

Richard Seymour for Guardian, 28 October 2019: The right’s use of trolling is so predictable, why do we keep falling for it?’

David Streitfeld for The Times Literary Supplement, 22 October 2019: Don’t @ us: The problem with tweeting’

John Baglow for The Literary Review of Canada, 21 October 2019: ‘The Great Escape: Can we break out of our social media addiction?’

Richard Seymour for New Humanist, 14 October 2019: Willing servants’

Louise Proyect for CounterPunch, 4 October 2019: ‘The Politics of Trolling’

Ian Parker for Socialist Resistance, 27 September 2019: ‘Left Hooked on Twitter’

Kiera O’Brien for The Bookseller, 2 September 2019: ‘Books in the Media’

Emma Jacobs for Financial Times, 30 August 2019: ‘The Twittering Machine — our role in the online horror story’

Richard Seymour for Guardian, 23 August 2019: ‘The machine always wins: what drives our addiction to social media’ (extract from The Twittering Machine)

Francesca Carington for Tatler, 21 August 2019: ‘The Best Late Summer Reads’

Will Davies for The Guardian, 8 August 2019: ‘Book of the Week’

Daniel Hahn for The Spectator, 3 August 2019: The unseen enemy

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