From scattered previous editions, this volume unites the author's opus on Marxism, which he wrote in the 1970s. Kolakowski is a historian of philosophy and treats Marxism as such; that is, he does not address the history of Marxist movements, parties, and leaders. For those interested in Marxist doctrine, Kolakowski dissects it within a chronological framework, laying out its antecedents in Hegelian philosophy and varieties of socialism current in the 1830s and 1840s. Conceding Karl Marx's originality in formulating his precepts, seminally in The German Ideology
(1846), Kolakowski subjects them to withering analysis, especially in their relation to Marx's claim to have discovered a science of human history. There is no mistaking Kolakowski for a Marxist, but his grasp of the interrelationship of Marxian concepts from alienated labor to historical materialism to revisionism is complete. Kolakowski also understands Marxism's propensity for schismatic development, justifying the author's description of this history as a handbook of the principal Marxist theoreticians. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Considered the definitive work on the subject" (The New York Times), Main Currents of Marxism is now in one paperback volume. "A monument of modern humanistic scholarship... It will surely not be superseded." New York Review of Books "Leszek Kolokowki is one of the world's greatest living political philosophers and historians of ideas... Norton have reissued his magnum opus, Main Currents of Marxism, in a handsome single volume." Timothy Garton Ash, Books of the Year, The Times Literary Supplement "...indispensable... an unmatched encyclopaedia of a major passage in Western intellectual history, but the enduring interest of this masterly volume does not come chiefly from the mass of useful information it provides. Instead, it lies in Kolokowski's devastating assessment of Marx's thought." John Gray, The Times Higher Education Supplement"