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History and Class Consciousness

«One of the indispensable works of the twentieth century.»

Raymond Williams
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Verso Books
21 x 14 cm


«One of the indispensable works of the twentieth century.»

Raymond Williams

«George Lukács's History and Class Consciousness is a truly extraordinary work, and its English translation, after almost fifty years of neglect by English and American publishers, is a major event. The full quality of Lukács's brilliance is most powerfully manifested in this 'youthful' work (done when merely 38!), where he reveals himself as by far and away the most talented philosopher among 20th-century Marxists, and as their most penetrating critic of contemporary culture. He is a major stimulus in the development of what is certainly the most creative school of social theorists in the 20th century, and of whom Herbert Marcuse is only the best-known member. For all this, then, we owe homage to Georg Lukács.»

Alvin W. Gouldner, New York Times Book Review

«Lukacs' book History and Class Consciousness leads Marx back to Hegel to a significant extent, and leads the latter meaningfully beyond himself; here, too, a metaphysics of understanding oneself in existence, of raising our head, our reality above the crooked process, traces its dialectical arcs.»

Ernst Bloch

«History and Class Consciousness, a work of genius inseparable from the brief moment when the Bolshevik Revolution seemed to be the beginning of a world revolution.»

Etienne Balibar

«For Lukacs, Marxism is, or should be, this integral philosophy without dogma. Weber understood materialism as an attempt to deduce all culture from economics. For Lukacs, it is a way of saying that the relations among men are not the sum of personal acts or personal decisions, but pass through things, the anonymous roles, the common situations, and the institutions where men have projected so much of themselves that their fate is now played out outside them. The exceptional merit of Lukacs-which makes his book, even today, a philosophical one-is precisely that his philosophy was not by implication to be understood as dogma but was to be practiced, that it did not serve to 'prepare' history, and that it was the very chain of history grasped in human experience. His philosophical reading of history brought to light, behind the prose of everyday existence, a recovery of the self by itself which is the definition of subjectivity.»

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

«On the level of currents of thought we must no doubt go back to Lukacs, whose History and Class Consciousness was already raising questions to do with a new subjectivity.»

Gilles Deleuze

«Lukács's critique of 'reification' in History and Class Consciousness shows the path toward a philosophy of social praxis, according to which social objectivity must be understood as the creation of human beings themselves in the process of reproducing their material and cultural worlds.»

Seyla Benhabib

«I can still remember the way that first page of Lukács made my head spin. The cosmic chutzpah of the man was staggering. I'd known plenty of Marxists who were willing to admit that Marx might be wrong about many tjings; in spite of this, they said, he was right about the essential things and that was why they were Marxists. Now here was a Marxist saying that Marx might be wrong about everything, and he couldn't care less, that the truth of Marxism was independent of anything that Marx said about the world, and hence that nothing in the world could ever refute it; and that as the essence not merely of Marxist truth, but of Marxist Orthodoxy.»

Marshall Berman

«The charter document of Hegelian Marxism.»

Martin Jay

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