The detour of critical theory
As he enters his 70th year, one might expect David Harvey's writings to peter out in exiguous fragments and glosses. Yet he continues to shout his heresies with relentless erudition, having lost none of the vigour and verve that marked his turn towards 'revolutionary theory' some three decades ago. The New Imperialism (2003b) is one of several recent publications that demonstrate his determination to keep the fl ame of Marxist scholarship alive in the current conjuncture. These writings crown a canon of commanding weight. Even the most gifted thinker would be pleased to pen one or two germinal texts in a lifetime. That Harvey has written several - including many now- classic papers and essays - speaks to his prodigious talents and immense intellectual energy. The architectural sweep and grandeur of his intellectual edifi ce knows few equivalents within contemporary Marxism, and certainly none within his home discipline of geography. Equally, Harvey's contribution to the fi eld of urban studies has been paradigmatic: his writings on the city helped pioneer the search for holistic theory among analysts whose inquiries had all too often been piecemeal and fragmented.