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Essays on History and Theories of History, Politics and Historiography
Editor: Davide Cadeddu
In A Companion to Antonio Gramsci some of the most important Italian scholars of Gramsci's thought realize an intellectual account of the Gramscian historiography. The volume is organized into five parts. In the first, an updated reconstruction of his biographical events is offered. The second part provides three different perspectives permitting an analysis of the ideas and theories of history which emerge from Gramsci’s writings. In the third section as well as the fourth section, the most explicitly political themes are considered. Finally, in the last part the timelines of twentieth century historiography in Italy are traced and a picture is painted of the reasons for the development of the principal problems surrounding the international literary output on Gramsci.

Contributors include: Alberto Burgio, Davide Cadeddu, Giuseppe Cospito, Angelo d’Orsi, Michele Filippini, Guido Liguori, Marcello Montanari, Vittorio Morfino, Stefano Petrucciani, Michele Prospero, Leonardo Rapone, Giuseppe Vacca, and Marzio Zanantoni.
Ontology, Epistemology, Politics
In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.
Georg Lukács’s philosophy of praxis, penned between 1918 and 1928, remains a revolutionary and apocryphal presence within Marxism. His History and Class Consciousness has inspired a century of rapture and reprobation, perhaps, as Gillian Rose suggested, because of its ‘invitation to hermeneutic anarchy’.

In Lukács: Praxis and the Absolute, Daniel Andrés López radicalises Lukács’s famous return to Hegel by reassembling his 1920s philosophy as a conceptual-historical totality. This speculative reading defends Lukács while proposing an unprecedented, immanent critique. While Lukács’s concept of praxis approaches the shape of Hegel’s Absolute, it tragically fails to bear its weight. However, as López argues, Lukács’s failure was productive: it raises crucial political, methodological and philosophical questions for Marxism, offering to redeem a lost century.
Intellectual Biography and Critical Balance-Sheet
Perhaps no philosopher is more of a conundrum than Nietzsche, the solitary rebel, poet, wayfarer, anti-revolutionary Aufklärer and theorist of aristocratic radicalism. His accusers identify in his ‘superman’ the origins of Nazism, and thus issue an irrevocable condemnation; his defenders pursue a hermeneutics of innocence founded ultimately in allegory. In a work that constitutes the most important contribution to Nietzschean studies in recent decades, Domenico Losurdo instead pursues a less reductive strategy. Taking literally the ruthless implications of Nietzsche's anti-democratic thinking – his celebration of slavery, of war and colonial expansion, and eugenics – he nevertheless refuses to treat these from the perspective of the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, he restores Nietzsche’s works to their complex nineteenth-century context, and presents a more compelling account of the importance of Nietzsche as philosopher than can be expected from his many contemporary apologists.

Translated by Gregor Benton. With an Introduction by Harrison Fluss.


Originally published in Italian by Bollati Boringhieri Editore as Domenico Losurdo, Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico, Turin, 2002.
Revisiting Gramsci’s Notebooks offers a rich collection of historical, philosophical, and political studies addressing the thought of Antonio Gramsci, one of the most significant intellects of the twentieth century. Based on thorough analyses of Gramsci’s texts, these interdisciplinary investigations engage with ongoing debates in different fields of study. They are exciting evidence of the enduring capacity of Gramsci’s thought to generate and nurture innovative inquiries across diverse themes.

Gathering scholars from different continents, the volume represents a global network of Gramscian thinkers from early-career researchers to experienced scholars. Combining rigorous explication of the past with a strategic analysis of the present, these studies mobilise underexplored resources from the Gramscian toolbox to confront the actuality of our ‘great and terrible’ world.

Contributors include: F. Antonini, A. Bernstein, D. Boothman, W. Buddharaksa, T. Chino, R. Ciavolella, C. Conelli, A. Crézégut, V. Cuppi, Y. Douet, A. Freeland, F. Frosini, L. Fusaro, R. Jackson, A. Loftus, S. Meret, S. Neubauer, A. Panichi, I. Pohn-Lauggas, R. Roccu, B. Settis, A. Showstack Sassoon, A. Suceska, P.D. Thomas, N. Vandeviver, M.N. Wróblewska.
In None so Fit to Break the Chains Dan Swain offers an interpretation of Marx's ethics that foregrounds his commitment to working-class self-emancipation and argues for the continued relevance of this principle for contemporary politics. Self-emancipation is frequently overlooked in discussions of Marx's ethics, but it deeply influenced his criticism of capitalism, his approach towards an alternative, and his conception of his own role as activist and theorist.

Foregrounding self-emancipation offers new perspectives on existing debates in the interpretation of Marx, such as the meanings of concepts like alienation, exploitation and utopianism, and can also offer broader insights into the relationship between critical theory and practice that have an enduring relevance today.
History of a Marxist Debate
In The Jewish Question: History of a Marxist Debate, Enzo Traverso explores the causes and the forms of the encounter that took place, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the Holocaust, between the intelligentsia of a cosmopolitan minority and the most radical ideological current of Western modernity. From Karl Marx to the Frankfurt School, the 'Jewish Question' — to a set of problems related to emancipation and anti-Semitism, cultural assimilation and Zionism — raised significant controversies within Marxist theory. Enzo Traverso carefully reconstructs this intellectual debate that runs over more than a century, pointing out both its achievements and its blind alleys.

This is the second edition, completely rewritten and updated, of a book already translated into many languages (originally published in French, then translated into English, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish).
Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day, a selection of writings by the Marxist-Humanist philosopher and revolutionary Raya Dunayevskaya, brings out the contemporary urgency of Marx’s work as a philosophy of revolution in permanence. That dialectic permeates the totality of Marx’s body of ideas and activities. Major themes include Marx’s transformation of the Hegelian dialectic; the inseparability of Marx’s economics, humanism, and dialectic; the battle of ideas with post-Marx Marxism, beginning with Engels; Black liberation, internationalism, and women’s liberation; today’s burning question of the relationship between spontaneity, organization, and philosophy; the emergence of counter-revolution from within the revolution; and the problem of what happens after the revolution.
In this first full-length biography of Alexander Bogdanov, James D. White traces the intellectual development of this key socialist thinker, situating his ideas in the context of the Russian revolutionary movement. He examines the part Bogdanov played in the origins of Bolshevism, his role in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and his conflict with Lenin, which lasted into Soviet times. The book examines in some detail Bogdanov’s intellectual legacy, which, though deliberately obscured and distorted by his adversaries, was considerable and is of lasting significance. Bogdanov was an original and influential interpreter of Marx. He had a mastery of many spheres of knowledge, this expertise being employed in writing his chief theoretical work Tectology, which anticipates modern systems theory.
The present age of omnipresent terrorism is also an era of ever-expanding policing. What is the meaning — and the consequences — of this situation for literature and literary criticism? Policing Literary Theory attempts to answer these questions presenting intriguing and critical analyses of the interplays between police/policing and literature/literary criticism in a variety of linguistic milieus and literary traditions: American, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and others. The volume explores the mechanisms of formulation of knowledge about literature, theory, or culture in general in the post-Foucauldian surveillance society. Topics include North Korean dictatorship, spy narratives, censorship in literature and scholarship, Russian and Soviet authoritarianism, Eastern European cultures during communism, and Kafka’s work.

Contributors: Vladimir Biti, Reingard Nethersole, Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu, Sowon Park, Marko Juvan, Kyohei Norimatsu, Péter Hajdu, Norio Sakanaka, John Zilcosky, Yvonne Howell, and Takayuki Yokota-Murakami.