- Paperback: 572 pages
- Publisher: International Publishers Co; Reprint, 1989 edition (November 24, 1971)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 071780397X
- ISBN-13: 978-0717803972
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Selections from the Prison Notebooks Reprint, 1989 Edition
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As Gramsci says, Machievelli's Prince is "a live work," and is certainly alive and well in Gramsci. His persistent attention to tactical detail and strategy - when to ally oneself with those on the left, and when to ally oneself with those on the right; when to lay in wait and lick one's wounds, and when to go on the attack - is cold as ice and sharp as steel. In the sense that Machievelli felt that the republic was the best form of government as it fostered civic spiritedness, so Gramsci understands the importance of cultivating his a citizen's inner commitment to the cause. This is achieved by melding civil society with the state. There should be no difference betwixt the two. Your sex life will be regulated. No drinking! Being tied all day to the assembly line won't dehumanize you; in fact, you'll have all the more time to think, to daydream. As Gramsci tells us, all men are intellectuals, insofar as they engage in intellectual and muscular-nervous activity. An assembly line replete with philosophers!
All of the actual political implications aside, let us be honest, he is not so much a philosopher of Marxism as he is of power: how to take it and how to maintain it. I guess there's something called neo-Gramscianism out there in int'l relations schools, and this isn't surprising at all. The Hegelian-Marxist method is a wonderful tool for understanding how history unfolds and "historical blocs" are formed but, like anything, is dangerous in the wrong hands.
Anyway, that stuff aside, Gramsci was a genius and this shows on every page. The insight and erudition is sparkling and his understanding of the dialectic, praxis, consciousness, historical context, class relations is second to none.
The edition itself is also good, with excellent footnotes do a good job on expounding on the names and concepts Gramsci drops throughout the text.