[Marxism] books for review

George Snedeker george.snedeker at verizon.net
Tue Aug 19 15:45:47 MDT 2014

I am the book review editor for Socialism and Democracy: www.sdonline.org

I am looking for someone to review a very interesting book by Althusser, published in English for the first time by Verso called, THE REPRODUCTION OF CAPITALISM. This book is a course of lectures Althusser gave in 1969. I have always felt that the weakest part of Marxism is Marx's theory of politics. Most of what Marx wrote about politics is journalism, good journalism, but not political theory. Althusser was one person who tried to fill in this gap. In this course of lectures , he spells out his theory of politics in relation to the problem of reproduction which was  dealt with by Marx in terms of political economy in volume two of Capital. What Althusser does in his lectures is to try to articulate a theory of social reproduction, which includes an analysis of ideology, repression and what he calls their State apparatuses.It is here that he brings in Lacan's reading of Freud and of course Lenin. His discussion of the role of law is very interesting.Althusser's writing in this book is very pedagogical. His lectures were meant to teach so the reader gets a sense of how Althusser thought ideas through.  

I will say less about the other books. The next book is Sean Sayers's , MARX'S THEORY OF ALIENATION  . Sean Sayers publishes an online journal of reviews of Marxist Philosophy and has written several books in the area of Marxist Social Theory. The essays collected in this book are interesting and written from a Hegelian perspective. 

The next book is E. P. Thompson's THE MAKING OF THE NEW LEFT. It consists in several essays written by Thompson from 1957-63 and articulate a humanistic socialism. Thompson tells the story of the first generation of the New Left in England during the period when he was involved with the early New Left Review. This was also the period when he wrote THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS.

The final book is a movie. Here is what the publisher says about it:  
St. Paul
by Pier Paolo Pasolini Translated by Elizabeth A. Castelli Preface by Alain Badiou Introduction by Ward Blanton 
"Mingles an intellectual leftism with a Franciscan Catholicism." - New Statesman

Presented here for the first time in English is a remarkable screenplay about the apostle Paul by Pier Paolo Pasolini, legendary filmmaker, novelist, poet, and radical intellectual activist. Written between the appearance of his renowned film Teorema and the shocking, controversial Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, St Paul was deemed too risky for investors. At once a political intervention and cinematic breakthrough, the script forces a revolutionary transformation on the contemporary legacy of Paul. In Pasolini's kaleidoscope, we encounter fascistic movements, resistance fighters, and faltering revolutions, each of which reflects on aspects of the Pauline teachings. From Jerusalem to Wall Street and Greenwich Village, from the rise of SS troops to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr, here- as Alain Badiou writes in the foreword-"Paul's text crosses all these circumstances intact, as if it had foreseen them all."


If reviewing any of these books turns you on, write to me offline at george.snedeker at verizon.net We have lots of sample book reviews on our web page, given above. 


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