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Marx Worldwide

On the Development of the International Discourse on Marx since 1965

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Jan Hoff

In his study Jan Hoff charts the unprecedented global boost that has been experienced by critical Marxism since the mid-1960s. In particular Hoff shows the development of interpretations of Marx’s method; of critical social theory oriented towards Marx's critique of political economy; and of significant disputes concerning the different versions and iterations of the critical project that ultimately culminated in Capital. His book investigates the ‘globalisation’ of Marx debates, the complex network of international theoretical approaches that have been devised between the poles of science and politics, the transfer of theory and the historical development of schools of thought beyond national and linguistic borders.

Marx Worldwide provides an overview of Marx reception in various regions of the world, in which the extra-European process of theory formation receives particular attention; and it shows how, despite the supersession of Marxism in the sense of an all-encompassing worldview, the Marxian aim of providing an explication of the internal connection of economic categories and relations, and thereby of accomplishing the ‘de-mystification’ of the ‘deranged world’ of the economy, is as relevant and as theoretically important as it has ever been.

First published in German by Akademie Verlag as Marx Global. Zur Entwicklung des internationalen Marx-Diskurses seit 1965, Berlin, 2009.

Cataclysm 1914

The First World War and the Making of Modern World Politics

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Edited by Alexander Anievas

Cataclysm 1914 brings together a number of leftist scholars from a variety of fields to explore the many different aspects of the origins, trajectories and consequences of the First World War. The collection not only aims to examine the war itself, but seeks to visualise the conflict and all its immediate consequences (such as the Bolshevik Revolution and ascendency of US hegemony) as a defining moment—perhaps the defining moment—in 20th century world politics rupturing and reconstituting the ‘modern’ epoch in its many instantiations. In doing so, the collection takes up a variety of different topics of interest to both a general reader, those focused on Marxian theory and strategy, and leftist and socialist histories of the war.

Contributors are: Alexander Anievas, Shelley Baranowski, Neil Davidson, Geoff Eley, Sandra Halperin, Esther Leslie, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Wendy Matsumura, Peter D. Thomas, Adam Tooze, Alberto Toscano, and Enzo Traverso.

The Dimensions of Hegemony

Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

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Craig Brandist

Though generally associated with the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the idea of hegemony had a crucial history in revolutionary Russia where it was used to conceptualize the dynamics of political and cultural leadership. Drawing on extensive archival research, this study considers the cultural dimensions of hegemony, with particular focus on the role of language in political debates and in scholarship of the period. It is shown that considerations of the relations between the proletariat and peasantry, the cities to the countryside and the metropolitan centre to the colonies of the Russian Empire demanded an intense dialogue between practical politics and theoretical reflection, which led to critical perspectives now assumed to be the achievements of, for instance, sociolinguistics and post-colonial studies.

Marxism in a Lost Century

A Biography of Paul Mattick

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Gary Roth

Marxism in a Lost Century retells the history of the radical left during the twentieth century through the words and deeds of Paul Mattick. An adolescent during the German revolutions that followed World War I, he was also a recent émigré to the United States during the 1930s Great Depression, when the unemployed groups in which he participated were among the most dynamic manifestations of social unrest. Three biographical themes receive special attention -- the self-taught nature of left-wing activity, Mattick’s experiences with publishing, and the nexus of men, politics, and friendship. Mattick found a wide audience during the 1960s because of his emphasis on the economy’s dysfunctional aspects and his advocacy of workplace councils—a popularity mirrored in the cyclical nature of the global economy.

Working-Class Politics in the German Revolution

Richard Müller, the Revolutionary Shop Stewards and the Origins of the Council Movement

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Ralf Hoffrogge

Richard Müller, a leading figure of the German Revolution in 1918, is unknown today. As the operator and unionist who represented Berlin’s metalworkers, he was main organiser of the ‘Revolutionary Stewards’, a clandestine network that organised a series of mass strikes between 1916 and 1918. With strong support in the factories, the Revolutionary Stewards were the driving force of the Revolution. By telling Müller's story, this study gives a very different account of the revolutionary birth of the Weimar Republic. Using new archival sources and abandoning the traditional focus on the history of political parties, Ralf Hoffrogge zooms in on working class politics on the shop floor and its contribution to social change.

First published in German by Karl Dietz Verlag as Richard Müller - Der Mann hinter der November Revolution, Berlin, 2008, this english edition was completerly revised for the english speaking audience and contains new sources and recent literature.

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Mark Pittaway

Edited by Adam Fabry

From the Vanguard to the Margins is dedicated to the work of the late British historian, Dr Mark Pittaway (1971-2010), a prominent scholar of post-war and contemporary Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Breaking with orthodox readings on Eastern bloc regimes, which remain wedded to the 'totalitarianism' paradigm of the Cold War era, the essays in this volume shed light on the contradictory historical and social trajectory of 'real socialism' in the region.

Mainstream historiography has presented Stalinist parties as 'omnipotent', effectively stripping workers and society in general of its 'relative autonomy'. Building on an impressive amount of archive material, Pittaway convincingly shows how dynamics of class, gender, skill level, and rural versus urban location, shaped politics in the period. The volume also offers novel insights on historical and sociological roots of fascism in Hungary and the politics of legitimacy in the Austro-Hungarian borderlands.

Looking for the Proletariat

Socialisme ou Barbarie and the Problem of Worker Writing

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Stephen Hastings-King

Looking for the Proletariat is a contribution to understanding the implosion of the Marxist Imaginary. The implosion is staged in terms of the first English-language history of the French revolutionary group Socialisme ou Barbarie from 1949 to 1957. It explains why Socialisme ou Barbarie was the only Marxist organization interested by worker experience and how the group’s anti-Leninist position on organization led it to privilege first-person worker narratives in order to understand worker experience and its revolutionary possibilities. Using the only first-person accounts of working-class experience in French industry of the 1950s, the book explores the disintegration of collective investment in the Marxist Imaginary that unfolded at Renault’s Billancourt factory in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution and the contexts that shaped it.

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Frank Rosengarten

Antonio Gramsci was not only one of the most original and significant communist leaders of his time but also a creative thinker whose contributions to the renewal of Marxism remain pertinent today. In The Revolutionary Marxism of Antonio Gramsci, Frank Rosengarten explores Gramsci's writings in areas as diverse as Marxist theory, the responsibilities of political leadership, and the theory and practice of literary criticism. He also discusses Gramsci's influence on the post-colonial world. Through close readings of texts ranging from Gramsci's socialist journalism in the Turin years to his prison letters and Notebooks, Rosengarten captures the full vitality of the Sardinian communist's thought and outlook on life.

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Sevasti Trubeta

Before it became established as an academic discipline, physical anthropology emerged as a contested notion of reference to the cosmological views associated with the Darwinian theory of evolution and its implementation by the natural sciences. However, its subsequent development points to a science which made holistic claims regarding its ability to explore humankind in its entirety and to influence society, with its involvement in politics, as well as racial and eugenic concepts serving as the vehicle for doing so. This book explores the emergence of physical anthropology in the modern Greek state and its development over a period of one century from the viewpoint of the proclaimed intention of its representatives to influence societal developments. The book is the first to subject Greek racial and eugenic discourse to detailed research.

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Wade Matthews

In The New Left, National Identity, and the Break-Up of Britain Wade Matthews charts the nexus between socialism and national identity in the work of key New Left intellectuals, E.P. Thompson, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Perry Anderson, and Tom Nairn. Matthews considers these New Left thinkers’ response to Britain’s various national questions, including decolonization and the End of Empire, the rise of European integration and separatist nationalisms in Scotland and Wales, and to the national and nationalist implications of Thatcherism, Cold War and the fall of communism. Matthews establishes a contestatory dialogue around these issues throughout the book based around different New Left perspectives on what has been called “the break-up of Britain.” He demonstrates that national questions where crucial to New Left debates.