Lenin and Philosophy and other essays


Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2006

173 pages

Price INR 395.00

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No figure among the western Marxist theoreticians has loomed larger in the postwar period than Louis Althusser. A rebel against the Catholic tradition in which he was raised, Althusser studied philosophy and later joined both the faculty of the École Normale Supérieure and the French Communist Party in 1948. Viewed as a "structuralist Marxist", Althusser was as much admired for his independence of intellect as he was for his rigorous defence of Marx. The latter was best illustrated in For Marx (1965), and Reading Capital (1968). These works, along with Lenin and Philosophy (1971) had an enormous influence on the New Left of the 1960s and continues to influence modern Marxist scholarship.

This classic work, which to date has sold more than 30,000 copies, covers the range of Louis Althusser's interests and contributions in philosophy, economics, psychology, aesthetics, and political science.

Marx, in Althusser's view, was subject in his earlier writings to the ruling ideology of his day. Thus for Althusser, the interpretation of Marx involves a repudiation of all efforts to draw from Marx's early writings a view of Marx as a "humanist" and "historicist".

Louis Althusser

Louis Althusser was a philosopher born in Algeria in 1918. He died in France in 1990. His other publications in English include For Marx, Politics and History, and On Ideology.