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Selections from the Prison Notebooks Paperback – November 24, 1971

ISBN-13: 978-0717803972 ISBN-10: 071780397X Edition: Reprint
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: International Publishers Co; Reprint edition (November 24, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071780397X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0717803972
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This selection from Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" contains his most important work written during his imprisonment from the italian fascist regime. It includes "the Intellectuals", texts on Education, Notes on Italian History, "The modern Prince", "State and Civil Society", "Americanism and Fordism" and notes on the philosophy of praxis, together with a very informative introduction on the italian Communist Movement in the first decades of the 20th century. In this collection Gramsci's theory of "hegemony" in class societies is fully presented, together with his intepretation of Marxism both in philosophy and in the analysis of the modern world.
Gramsci was on of the foremost leaders of the Italian Communist Party; in his trial in 1927 the fascist Public Prosecutor proclaimed that his brain must be stopped from functioning for twenty years. Fortunately, Gramsci proved to be a devoted fighter in prison and his Notebooks furthered -in many points- the analysis of Marx and Lenin of how capitalism functions and how it could be overthrown.
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85 of 101 people found the following review helpful By tpurvis@cyberus.ca on July 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Gramsci's Prison Notebooks marks one of the nodal points of Western Marxism's break with Leninism and the breed of marxism born of the Bolshevik Revolution. Exploratory and incomplete, the insights contained in this volume marked a turning point in marxist thinking, indeed leading many right through the marxist fold and out the other side. Gramsci's insights into philosphy, cultural criticism, political economy, and politics make this a crucial resource for anyone interested in any of these themes today ... marxist or otherwise. And for those interested in the 'fall' of marxism, Gramsci is perhaps the most important starting point. A veritable critical goldmine!!!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William Crane on June 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
This volume was the first to present a coherent selection of Gramsci's thought in English. However, it was published over 40 years ago and times have certainly changed, making it necessary to complement it with other writings. In the first place this was translated at a time when the critical edition of Gramsci's Notebooks did not exist even in the original Italian. Thus the excerpts here are taken from many different volumes of his writings, some of which had different editors and hence different priorities. Initially the Notebooks were brought out in part to facilitate the Italian CP's transition to reformist strategy after the war, so the reader should bear this in mind.

Scholarship on Gramsci has advanced to the point as to discredit the editors' introduction and most of their notes. Hoare and Nowell Smith maintain that Gramsci's often obscure style was born out of a desire to hide what he was writing about from the prison censors, a widespread misconception that spread in English at least partly from their notes and partly from the influential essay by Perry Anderson, "The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci." More recently it has been noted that given Gramsci's career it was highly likely he was writing about Marxism, and even his fascist guards would have realized this. His literary style has been deeply underestimated because of this conception. While he was constrained by material limitations such as not having access to a library and only being able to keep a certain number of notebooks in his cell at one time (plus the fact that they were notebooks, rather than fully fleshed-out works he intended for publication immediately), his writing is much clearer than he is given credit for.
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91 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Rubard on November 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Michel Foucault once remarked that Antonio Gramsci is a figure much cited and little read. Once upon a time (in the 90s, when things seemed more dismal, then they really were) neoconservatives were warned that Gramscianism was conducting a "long march through the institutions": leftists of a freethinking and free-wheeling bent threw around "organic intellectual" as denoting indigenous members of collective subjects not quite proletarian, and wondered whether "hegemony" was being orchestrated by hip-hop provocateurs.

But in yet another retrenchment of yet another cruel decade, Gramsci has fallen off the map. The neocons wonder if Hillary Rodham Clinton is "angry" about things other than her man and Whitewater; the bohemian leftists wonder about Empire, or stay silent. Which is probably well enough, when it comes to the Gramscian corpus. For although this is the work of an ill-deserved confinement courtesy of one of the world's more notable totalitarian regimes, its stated aim is to be itself "totalitarian" in conception. Antonio Gramsci was something much more complex than a "freedom fighter", and his pronouncements regarding a multitude of subjects in this selection from his *Quaderni del carcere* deserve to be analyzed critically rather than sympathetically.

"Open Marxism" this is not: Gramsci has three major tasks, all of which are compatible with Leninist-Stalinist orthodoxy.
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