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On Stepping Stones and Other Calamities of Marxist Historiography

In: Historical Materialism
Author:
Heide Gerstenberger Professor Emerita, University of Bremen Bremen Germany

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Abstract

Historical research is always in danger of being made use of for explaining and illustrating instead of testing one’s theoretical conceptions. Since Marxist historical research has certainly not been exempt from this temptation, one has to start any debate about Marxist historiography with the demand to accord empirical research the chance to shake even the cornerstones of one’s own theoretical conceptions. In a paper that has triggered off a new discussion on ‘Political Marxism’, Samuel Knafo and Benno Teschke insist on such a practice. In what follows I try to position the ongoing discussion in the wider context of theoretical concepts of Marxist historiography.

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