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Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays Paperback – November 13, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1583670392 ISBN-10: 1583670394
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Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays + For Marx (Radical Thinkers) + On The Reproduction Of Capitalism: Ideology And Ideological State Apparatuses
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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Louis Althusser (1918-1990) took his degree in philosophy in the Ecole Normale Supérieure and later became Secrétaire of the school. He is the author of several books including The Future Lasts Forever, Montesquieu, le Politique et l'Historie, For Marx, and Reading Capital.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (November 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583670394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583670392
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent text if you are interested in having your reality turned on its head. I have used this reference in almost every paper I have written since beginning my path down the winding road of critical theory. I recommend it to anyone who thinks about why we think the way we do, anyone interested in hegemony, and anyone who thinks something is wrong with our world but s/he feels s/he just can't put a finger on what it is. This is a foundational text for anyone studying literary theory or philosophy. It contains the famous I.S.A. essay, a must read for anyone who functions metacognitively!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Althusser is often undervalued in the French academy these days, but this contemporary disdain for the late Marxist is unwarranted, for he will prove to be one of the significant political minds of the latter half of the 20th century. This collection of essays addresses a number of issues inherent in the philosophical system and development of Marxist thought. Althusser's anti-humanist reading of Marx is useful in his repudiation of easy humanist exhortations about the essence of man, or the early Marx's 'species being.' Lenin and Philosophy attempts to reassert the significance of Lenin as a thinker of historical materialism. Althusser's structuralist account of the development of historical materialism seeks to demarcate philosophy as praxis-philosophy draws the lines which are to deflect false ideas. The essay on the Ideological State Apparatus is where Althusser develops his famous notion of 'interpellation,' or 'hailing'. The application of psychoanalytic discourse resolves a number of problems regarding Marx's work on 'false consciousness.' The essays on art (particularly Cremonini), are also provocative, though immensely difficult.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Smallridge on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure there are many essays on Western philosophy as a solid as the ones in this collection by Althusser. This is a great collection, well-translated and complete. In particular, I found the article "Ideology and Ideological Apparatuses" to be memorable and well-reasoned. I'm better for having read it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Martin on January 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Recently, I had reason to return to this important essay. I found its revision of the old marxist materialism cum 'economism' surprisingly compelling. But certainly not in the way our author intended. Althusser, with Lacan and Deleuze, have all become the 'master-thinkers' of post-marxism. The impossibility of revolution in any economically advanced nation has brought us to this impasse. It is my contention that Marxism today is but another Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) that explains and (therefore) controls suffering. I know, our author, and his readers, all thought very differently...

"Ideology has a material existence", Althusser tells us. And certainly this is an advance over cold war orthodox marxism. ideology is no longer merely in minds, it is out here in bodies and institutions and their activities. With Althusser, ideology becomes a material force. Why is this important? Control the ideology of individuals and institutions and you control their behavior. Instead of thinking of individuals as causes, we now think of them as effects. They are all made (i.e., produced and reproduced) within the various ISA's. This process of control/production our author calls interpellation. ISA's, btw, are never to be confused with the Repressive State Apparatus. It consists of the Government, Police, Military, etc. ISA's consist of the Church, Family, Education, and so on.

The hope, the dream, of readers of this essay, was that by going into the universities (the Gramscian 'long march' through the institutions), leftist intellectuals could snatch interpellation from the ruling class and use it to revolutionize the ruled. It has been over 40 years since this essay first appeared. The ineffectiveness of the project is easy to see.
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Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays
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