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Homage to Pasolini on the Twentieth Anniversary of His Murder

Pier Paolo Pasolini, born in Bologna on March 5, 1922, and raised in the Friuli region of Venetia, is, in the words of Alberto Moravia, the major Italian poet of the second half of the twentieth century. He was also a filmmaker, novelist, and political journalist of genius. He was murdered twenty years ago, on November 2, 1975. | more…

Hobsbawm’s Century

In 1902, the Rationalist Press Association issued a pamphlet entitled A New Catechism. Like the classic Roman Catholic statement of belief on which it was modeled, the document comprised a long list of questions and answers. However, the faith which it rehearsed was not belief in Christianity, but rather belief in secular human reason. The pamphlet opened with a stirring dedication:

We baptize the twentieth century—in the name of Peace, Liberty, and Progress! We christen her—the People’s Century. We ask of the new century a Religion without superstition; Politics without war; Science and the arts without materialism; and wealth without misery or wrong! | more…

In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion

In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion

When British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from his Munich meetings with Adolf Hitler in September 1938, he proclaimed that he held in his hands a document guaranteeing “peace in our time.” In the decades since, Chamberlain's folly has become the occasion for a commonplace historical lesson: that when the “good” innocently accept the assurances of the “evil,” the result is catastrophic. | more…

Inventing Western Civilization

Inventing Western Civilization

What is civilization? The term, commonly identified with “uplift” and “order,” has come to take on another meaning: the “civilized” versus the “primitive.” This book is about the idea of civilization and how, at different times, the concept has been used by the powerful in order to defend their status. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of early societies, anthropologist Thomas C. Patterson shows how class, sexism, and racism have been integral to the appearance of “civilized” societies in Western Europe. | more…

Yugoslavia Dismembered

Yugoslavia Dismembered

The crisis in the former Yugoslavia has raised questions of universal importance. What are the rights of nations, peoples, and minority communities in an age when national boundaries are swept aside in the name of “ethnic cleansing?” Catherine Samary shows how the refusal to recognize any national identity except “pure” ethnicity has served as a pretext for the butchering of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and poses a threat to modern pluralist national boundaries everywhere. In response, Samary argues: “There must be different ways of being a ‘people.’ Forming a separate country for one single group is not (and must not be) the only choice.” Drawing from past experiences in the region, Samary outlines compelling and challenging alternatives to the surrender of pluralism and democracy to ultranationalist military might. | more…

Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany

Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany

To understand the complex phenomenon of fascism and its success in Germany requires an integrated analysis of the economic, class, and power dimensions that led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the ascension to power of the Nazi party. The contributors to this volume, including a number of scholars from East and West Germany whose works appear in English for the first time, collectively construct such an analysis. | more…

When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany

When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany

This collection of essays analyzes the experience of women in Weimar and Nazi Germany — the first a period of crisis and polarization between right and left, and the second a period in which the right triumphed. The history documented in this book provides us with a perspective from which to analyze our own time, for in the history of Weimar and Nazi Germany we see the issues surrounding women, family, and reproduction as powerful mobilizing forces for both right and left. | more…

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

In this lively and instructive memoir of his experience with the anti-Nazi underground in Italy and Yugoslavia during World War II, Basil Davidson has thrown needed light on a much-neglected part of European history. Sent to the area as a representative of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), he is able to recount at first hand the intense determination of the revolutionary partisans, who hoped that their sacrifices would lead to a new society, and the equally determined policy of the Allies to suppress them. As the London Review of Books stated, “The true purpose of this marvelously original book is to remind us that [for the underground] the Second World War was above all a political, even a revolutionary, experience, in which liberation was not simply a matter of driving out the Germans but also involved a radical restructuring of whole societies… which had permitted the growth of appeasement, defeatism, and indigenous fascism. | more…

Economic Theory of the Leisure Class

Economic Theory of the Leisure Class

Bukharin completed this work in 1914; it represented an attempt to grapple with the Austrian School of political economy, as represented chiefly by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. Bukharin interprets the school as reflecting the social position of the rentier stratum of the capitalist class, which tends to view the economy from the point of view of consumption rather than production. His discussion, while it does not deal with the many changes and refinements of neoclassical economics, does contrast, in polemical form, Marxism with the fundamental premises of modern academic economics. | more…

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