Title: A RECONSTRUCTION OF HISTORICAL MATERIALISM
Publisher: George Allen & Unwin, London, UK
Publication Date: 1986
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: First Printing.
Book Type: Ex-Library
Pink and grey boards with red print on cover and spine. Number 19 in a "Controversies in Sociology" Series. Never circulated. Neat library markings. Sound and otherwise unmarked. 138 pages including index. No dust jacket but in an acetate cover. Removal will eliminate external markings except top and bottom edge stamps. Unfortunately cover is adhered to inside cover end papers. Size: 5 3/4 X 8 3/4. Bookseller Inventory # 007290
Synopsis: The aim of this book is to justify the need for, and to carry out, a reconstruction of historical materialism. In advocating that historical materialism be viewed as a theory of practice, the author argues against the determinism of "orthodox" Marxism, but is nevertheless sensitive to the cleavages and disjunctures that are present in the works of Marx and Engels, and the need to resolve them. Traditionally, reconstruction has been presented in two different ways. First, as the introduction of rigour and scientificity into Marxism in order to show that structural factors which can be precisely defined are able fully to determine and explain social change and historical developments. Second, as an attempt to rescue Marxism from the rigidities of orthodox Soviet Marxism, in order to show that, although social change and history are structurally conditionsed, the result from human practices and class struggles that are not fully pre-ordained. After identifying some areas of tension in Marx's and Engels' thought, Jorge Larrain shows how the orthodox interpretation emerged, and how it has subsequently been defended. He then offers and extensive critique of its tenets and proposes an alternative solution which alters some of the emphases and proportions laid down by Marx and Engels themselves. Scholars and students in sociology, politics and philosophy should find this book a clear discussion of the most relevant issues concerning historical materialism, and a cogent presentation of arguments in favour of reconstructing it as a theory of practice.
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