Travis Wright reviews Latour’s Down to Earth

Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth is, functionally, a call to rethink and re-describe our political reality in accordance with the changing forces that shape it. Latour lays out his argument in 20 brief sections, each deceptively quick to read. Section 14, for example, consists of 37 paragraphs, 16 of which are only one sentence long (On pages 69-70, Latour dishes out six one-sentence paragraphs in a row). Another 13 paragraphs of section 14 contain just two sentences. This style allows the reader to rapidly get the gist of Latour’s tidy but complex and highly abstract arguments while leaving open the option to linger longer. In other words, though Latour brings a refreshingly rapid pace to his argumentative steps, Down to Earth is only a sprint if the reader chooses not to take on the rewarding but meticulous marathon of unpacking it.
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