Adam Tooze is one of the great synthesizers of the global moment; maybe THE great synthesizer, in the Anglosphere at least. As you follow his output, in his newsletter and essays and books —
Among my friends and correspondents, it has become a running joke to drop his latest link into a text message with the single exclamation: TOOZE!
I could recommend almost anything from TOOZE!, but a recent newsletter is exemplary of something critical to his appeal:
Tooze is a great appreciator.
Not always what you expect from the intellectual of the moment, right? Very often, they are centripetal rather than centrifugal. Not so with Tooze: he is constantly commending, convening, looping in, hyping up.
Of course, this endears him to me because I feel, or hope, that I am a serviceable appreciator, too. (My admiration is, in this way, a bit vain.)
Appreciators are most useful when you’ve read them long enough to know their enthusiasm, although bountiful, is not indiscriminate. The opposite: appreciation can be as sharp and specific as criticism! This fact is … underappreciated.
Tooze’s newsletters are additionally endearing because they are so obviously dashed off, which gives a dual sense of, “wow, even someone working at this level makes typos, writes weird sentences” alongside “THIS is dashed-off? What does Tooze’s really tight stuff look like??” (It looks like his books, of course, including the magisterial Crashed, which is for me, even post-pandemic, THE framing document for the current world system.)
Enough introduction! Here’s Adam Tooze’s appreciation of Andreas Malm, who I knew as the author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline and that is all. Even though it’s ostensibly just the “liner notes” for a more traditional essay, the newsletter is bracing and inspiring.