Read Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown by Leszek Kołakowski Free Online
Book Title: Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown|
The author of the book: Leszek Kołakowski
ISBN 13: 9780393060546
Edition: W. W. Norton & Company
Date of issue: November 9th 2005
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.98 MB
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From philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, one of the giants of twentieth-century intellectual history, comes this highly infuential study of Marxism. Written in exile, this 'prophetic work' presents, according to the Library of Congress, 'the most lucid and comprehensive history of the origins, structure, and posthumous development of the system of thought that had the greatest impact on the twentieth century'. Kolakowski traces the intellectual foundations of Marxist thought from Plotonius through Lenin, Lukacs, Sartre and Mao. He reveals Marxism to be 'the greatest fantasy of our century ...an idea that began in Promethean humanism and culminated in the monstrous tyranny of Stalinism'. In a brilliant coda, he examines the collapse of international Communism in light of the last tumultuous decades. Main Currents of Marxism remains the indispensable book in its field.
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Read information about the authorDistinguished Polish philosopher and historian of ideas. He is best known for his critical analysis of Marxist thought, especially his acclaimed three-volume history, Main Currents of Marxism. In his later work, Kolakowski increasingly focused on religious questions. In his 1986 Jefferson Lecture, he asserted that "We learn history not in order to know how to behave or how to succeed, but to know who we are.”
In Poland, Kołakowski is not only revered as a philosopher and historian of ideas, but also as an icon for opponents of communism. Adam Michnik has called Kołakowski "one of the most prominent creators of contemporary Polish culture".
Kołakowski died on 17 July 2009, aged 81, in Oxford, England. In his obituary, philosopher Roger Scruton said Kolakowski was a "thinker for our time" and that regarding Kolakowski's debates with intellectual opponents, "even if ... nothing remained of the subversive orthodoxies, nobody felt damaged in their ego or defeated in their life's project, by arguments which from any other source would have inspired the greatest indignation."