What is to be Done?
What is to be Done?
Translated by G. M. Goshgarian
What is to be done? This was the question asked by Lenin in 1901 when he was having doubts about the revolutionary capabilities of the Russian working class. 77 years later, Louis Althusser asked the same question. Faced with the tidal wave of May ‘68 and the recurrent hostility of the Communist Party towards the protests, he wanted to offer readers a succinct guide for the revolution to come. Lively, brilliant and engaged, this short text is wholly oriented towards one objective: to organise the working class struggle. Althusser provides a sharp critique of Antonio Gramsci’s writings and of Eurocommunism, which seduced various Marxists at the time. But this book is above all the opportunity for Althusser to state what he had not succeeded in articulating elsewhere: what concrete conditions would need to be satisfied before the revolution could take place. Left unfinished, it is published here in English for the first time.
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  • November 2020
  • 120 pages
  • 143 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
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  • Hardback $49.95
  • 9781509538607
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  • 9781509538614
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  • 9781509538621
About the Author
Louis Althusser (1918-1990) was a leading Marxist philosopher and an influential figure in the French Communist Party.  He taught philosophy for many years at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and his many books include History and Imperialism, For Marx, Reading Capital (with Étienne Balibar and others) and Lenin and Philosophy.
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"There can be no doubt that What Is To Be Done? stands as an important building block in Althusser’s understanding of political theory and as a central text for exploring his divergence with historicism. By analyzing the concept of hegemony as an inflated concept which replaces that of class domination and class dictatorship, this book constitutes an important contribution for current debates surrounding Althusser and Gramsci’s theoretical production, but also for the broader field of contemporary debates concerning the concept of hegemony and political strategy."
Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
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