Really nice overview of the book HERE. The review is notable for a number of reasons:
(1) For a while now it has seemed incresingly likely to me that when people look back, they will characterize this period as a golden age of continental metaphysics. Garcia's book makes this a much more plausible thing to hold.
(2) But nobody would realize this from looking at SPEP programs (e.g. the 2011 Program), which are largely organized around phenomenology, the parisien soixante huitards, and political critique informed by these two things (and to a smaller extent, the Frankfurt School).* But new continental metaphysicians such as Garcia, Meillassoux, Grant, Bryant, and Brassier (and also to an extent Zizek and Haeglund) not only don't fit into these boxes but also radically critique some of the main figures stored therein, which is maybe why there hasn't been a SPEP round table discussion on the metaphysical turn on the continent or on any of the books of the key figures involved. I don't know. In contrast, consider this University of Bonn Summer Institute on "The Ontological Turn in Contemporary Philosophy," or this Workshop Series at the Free University of Berlin on "Contemporary Realism, Materialism, and Metaphysics." From European conferences it's clear that metaphysics is back in the saddle, but you would not know this from SPEP.
(3) I suspect that every golden age has something like (2) going on. That is, maybe there's a threshold where enough people become aware of a golden age that proves injurious to the very things that make the age golden. Consider the beatniks. By the time Bob Denver was playing Manard G. Krebbs it was already over. I mean, the events portrayed in On the Road happened in the 1940s. Or grunge. The year after Cobain died you had four great albums (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Hole, Soundgarden) and then it immediately all disappeared, crowded out by frat boy rock-rap and grunge-lite aimed at pre-teens (not to diminish the valiant efforts to resuscitate rock by PJ Harvey, Marilyn Manson, Jet, Wolfmother, and The White Stripes). Is this kind of thing necessary? And if so why?
(4) I'm not criticizing SPEP (though I have a right to, my dues are payed in full). Any attempt to engage with a foreign intellectual tradition is going to some extent be an act of Orientalism. For example, Derrida rightfully became huge in American departments of English literature because of what was going on with New Criticism at the time. He didn't catch on in literature departments in France I think largely because members of the Academie were at a place where they didn't need to be invested in the fortunes of New Criticism.
(5) In this respect, I have a theory of why American continental philosophy is more "book oriented" and less "argument oriented." There's no payoff in translating foreign language journals. And since almost all American continental philosophers still have to teach the stuff in English (whether they can read French or not), books thus become the unit of currency. I suspect this is of necessity whenever discourses that were originally in another language are appropriated.
(6) Garcia is also an accomplished novelist whose fiction has already appeared in English. Yet one more way that France is cooler than the United States.
[Note: I'm not putting SPEP down. I cherish phenomenology, the parisien soixante huitards, and political critique informed by these two things (and to a smaller extent, the Frankfurt School). At Eastern APAs I'm more likely to go to talks in these areas than in ares in which I publish, and I look forward to attending SPEP, no matter the relation between its mandarins and the Young Turks.]