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Review Essay: M. Berman, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity

Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz


Marshall Berman intends his book to be a “study in the dialectics of modernization and modernism.” (16) He begins by defining these two terms after having identified what he means by modernity. For Berman, “There is a mode of vital experience—experience of space and time, of the self and others, of life’s possibilities and perils—that is shared by men and women all over the world today. I will call this body of experience ‘modernity’.” (15) Modernization, however is “... the social processes that bring this maelstrom into being, and keep it in a state of perpetual becoming...” (16) While modernism is an ensemble of visions, ideas, and values: “These world-historical process have nourished an amazing variety of visions and ideas that aim to make men and women the subjects as well as the objects of modernization, to give them the power to change the world that is changing them, to make their way through the maelstrom and make it their own.” (16)

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Sonjah Nadine Stanley-Niaah.

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