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Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx: A Revolutionary Interpretation Hardcover – December 1, 2002
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"This new edition provides the intellectual a critical insight of development of one of the 20th-century's great thinkers." -- Educational Book Review, October-November 2003
About the Author
Sidney Hook (1902-1989) was professor emeritus at New York University and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Among his many books are Convictions; Paradoxes of Freedom; The Quest for Being; Reason, Social Myths, and Democracy; and an autobiography, Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century.
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Top customer reviews
In this new edition we find Hook's son giving us a full scale apolagia for his fathers political drift from revolutionary to cold war polemicist; C. Phelps providing an excellent historical introduction that finds merit with the young Hook's democratic Marxism for todays generation of radicals; a reprint of a 1968 essay by L. Feuer giving the standard cold war-liberal (soon to be neoconservative) view of Hook's relation to Marxian scholarship; and P. Berman's very interesting remake of one of Hook's own essays, in which he, Berman, interviews a dead Hook (as Hook himself did in 1955 when he interviewed Marx in Heaven).
As to the Text itself, what Hook essentially did was introduce English speaking readers to the praxis orinted tradition of western Marxist intellectuals such as G. Lukacs and K. Korsh, years before they became better known through translations of their works. This I have argued elsewere was more profound than the famous notion that TOWARDS THE UNDERSTANDING OF KARL MARX should be seen as a work of Deweyian-Marxism. Most impressive of the book's assets are Hook's explantions of Marx's dialectical method and his defence of the democratic nature of the Marxian revolutionary ideal. These stand heads above his later attempts to repudiate them, which is likley why he did not want this work reprinted.
Those interested in a more detailed look at my views on this subject can read my article "Praxis American Style" in HISTORICAL MATERIALISM No. 4 1999. Also one should read Alan Wald's THE NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS and C. Phelps excellent YOUNG SIDNEY HOOK.
I have no clue why John Dewey is pictured on the cover, his name doesn't appear anywhere, but he certainly had a good student! Dewey was not as much of a Marxist but you should also read him for embodying a kind of understanding of Trotsky in our daily practice of democracy.