Tracks to Infinity, The Long Road to Justice

The Peter McLaren Reader, Volume II

Edited by:
Marc Pruyn, Monash University
Curry Malott, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Luis Huerta-Charles, New Mexico State University

A volume in the series: Marxist, Socialist, and Communist Studies in Education. Editor(s): Curry Malott, West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Derek R. Ford, DePauw University.

Published 2020

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.

Praise for Tracks to Infinity...

“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 Ché.”
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

Preface: A Collection of Raw Materials for Re-imaginings, Derek R. Ford & Rebecca Alexander. Foreword: Peter’s Return to Marx, Mike Cole. Introduction: McLaren’s Proletarian Pedagogy, Curry Stephenson Malott, Marc Pruyn & Luis Huerta-Charles. Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy: Staking a Claim Against the Macrostructural Unconscious, Peter McLaren. The Defenestration of Democracy, Peter McLaren. Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy and the Struggle Against Capital Today, Peter McLaren, and Derek R. Ford. Critical Rage Pedagogy: From Critical Catharsis to Self and Social Transformation, Peter McLaren. Educacio n Publica, Democracia y la Pedagogí a Critica Revolucionaria, Peter McLaren and Luis Huerta-Charles. The Despoiling of the American Mind, Peter McLaren. Carlos Bulosan: Revolutionary Filipino Writer in the United States (A Critical Appraisal), Peter McLaren. The Beat Goes on: Neoliberalism from Obama to Trump and Beyond, Peter McLaren and Pablo Cortés-González. Class Dismissed? Historical Materialism and the Politics of “Difference”, Peter McLaren and Valerie Scatamburlo-D'Annibale. Karl Marx and Liberation Theology: Dialectical Materialism and Christian Spirituality in, against, and beyond Contemporary Capitalism, Peter McLaren and Petar Jandrić. Marx’s Nightmare, Peter McLaren. Theorizing the American Dream, Peter McLaren and Mitja Sardoč. What Unites Us, Peter McLaren and Vernon Smith. Afterword: The Travails of Criticality: Understanding Peter McLaren’s Revolutionary Vocation, John Baldacchino. Acknowledgements. Attributions. Biographies.

"What we have, then, with Tracks to Infinity, the Long Road to Justice: The Peter McLaren Reader, Volume II (Pruyn, Malott, and Huerta-Charles 2020) is an excellent confrontation with today’s capitalism which, with background reading and work, can provide a wide variety of readers with a way of moving the conversation forward. Otherwise, it’s what we have, which is economics for permanent debtors and politics for lesser-evil candidates." Samuel Day Fassbinder DeVry University in Postdigital Science and Education (Read full review)