Whereas This Fist Called My Heart, the first Peter McLaren reader (2016), offers a window into the development and reorientation of McLaren's work over time, Tracks to Infinity emphasizes the significance of orientation in his contemporary work. McLaren's earlier work was oriented toward the idea of a contradictory postmodern subjectivity located outside the increasingly fragmented, indeterminate late capitalist society. If the concept of the critical subject or change agent is perceived to be simultaneously located both inside and outside of the world that exists, however mundane, it begins to appear as a utopian or idealist construction. While discourse is indeed important, locating the revolutionary potential exclusively within the abstract realm of language or the sign can lead to a disconnected relationship with the concreteness of everyday struggle. As the fog of the disembodied, postmodern subject began to lift, McLaren reoriented his engagement with and gaze toward the concrete value-creating laborer as the active agent of revolutionary educations' process of becoming-collectively becoming something other than abstract labor. This volume is filled with deep engagements with the concreteness of lived experience juxtaposed next to the bourgeois propaganda of the capitalist class political establishment as manifested in the Trump era.
There is no masking the profound legacy of Peter McLaren for those of us honored to be counted among his many students and friends. To me, his revolutionary teachings amount to a raging bonfire of praxis for the cognitively weary...and while fire's nature burns and is dangerously beyond our control, historically speaking, fire is also the Promethean foundation stone for the humanization of the world. Herein, then, is a truly infernal collection of writing and ideas on education and politics-or perhaps just enough to thaw the numerous minds and hearts that have grown deadly cold from the icy spiritual hell that is our time of masterful warfare, an age when the beloved community is daily being stripped naked, shot and then laid out on a press table like a macabre photograph of the supposedly dead Che. -Richard Kahn, Core Faculty in Education, Antioch University, Los Angeles Peter McLaren is one of the most innovative and resourceful advocates of critical pedagogy originating from Gramsci and Freire. What distinguishes his work is the nuanced dialectical interweaving of national/ethnic struggles and global imperialist hegemony, exposing the limits of transnationalist-cosmopolitanist postmodernism (eliding the reality of finance capitalism) and covertly racialized globalism functioning as a decoy for white supremacy. This volume represents cuttingedge praxis in historical-materialist research and application. -E. San Juan, Jr., Fellow of the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas Huerta-Charles, Marc Pruyn & Curry S. Malott have given birth to Volume II of THE first ever Reader of Peter McLaren's expansive works. As a leading scholar and activist of our time, this groundbreaking text showcases a range of his punchy insights into multi-culturalism, imperialism, methodology and revolution. The book is unrivalled for anybody wanting to understand education and society, and do something serious about its ills. -Alpesh Maisuria, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies, University of East London Co-Deputy Editor, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies Co-Convener, Marxism and Education: Renewing Dialogues (MERD) Seminar Series