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The Wire and Philosophy 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9823-7


xii + 314 pages

May 2013

The Wire and Philosophy

This America, Man

Edited by David Bzdak, Joanna Crosby, and Seth Vannatta
Volume 73 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

That was one of the best shows of all time. . . . a great show.” The best Wire character? “It’s got to be Omar, right? I mean, that guy is unbelievable, right?”

—President Barack Obama, live interview on The BS Report

The Wire combines honor, morality, sex appeal, humor, and anarchic fatalism. This terrific volume gets it right! If you find the show addictive, the chapters in The Wire and Philosophy will hit you like a WMD tester. Try it. I guarantee you’ll be back for more.”

—Gabe Wardell, Executive Director of the Athens Film Arts Institute and contributor to Creative Loafing’s Fresh Loaf blog

The Wire certainly deserves a spot atop the Mount Olympus of television drama. I know readers will enjoy as these skilled and insightful philosophers descend from Mount Olympus to engage, discuss, analyze, and interpret the many philosophical aspects of The Wire.”

—Richard Greene, co-editor of Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy

“In David Simon’s Baltimore, you might think you’re gaming the system, but really the system is gaming you. Far from the Athenian agora, The Wires tragic streets offer a setting no less rich for philosophical reflection, as this provocative book shows—a grim microcosm of a larger world where white indifference has locked in place the structural dooming of America’s black inner-city underclass.”

—Charles W. Mills, author of The Racial Contract (1997)

“Heraclitus and Omar in the same paragraph? Who knew? ‘All the pieces matter,’ as Lester Freamon would say. Comes now The Wire and Philosophy, a provocative yet fully clothed collection of essays best described as the thinking man’s (and woman’s) fanbook for The Wire. The book offers a detailed examination of the underlying significance of The Wires five seasons, its characters and themes, as seen through the funhouse mirror of the academe. Hardly your parents’ philosophy text, it’s a thoughtful addition to the ever-expanding canon of literature about the HBO program—a series of readable dispatches from the mountaintop, neither without a sense of humor nor of such impenetrable heft that a truss is required for a little light bedtime reading.”

—William F. Zorzi, former Baltimore Sun reporter and writer for The Wire

David Bzdak is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York.

 Joanna Crosby is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Seth Vannatta, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morgan State University, edited Chuck Klosterman and Philosophy: The Real and the Cereal (2012) and has written numerous scholarly pieces including “The Most Dangerous Rock’n’Roll Band in the World” in The Rolling Stones and Philosophy: It’s Just a Thought Away (2012).

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