Marx's 'Eighteenth Brumaire'

Marx's 'Eighteenth Brumaire' : (Post)Modern Interpretations

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Marx's account of the rise of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is one of his most important texts. Written after the defeat of the 1848 revolution in France and Bonaparte's subsequent coup, it is a concrete analysis that raises enduring theoretical questions about the state, class conflict and ideology.

Unlike his earlier analyses, Marx develops a nuanced argument concerning the independence of the state from class interests, the different types of classes, and the determining power of ideas and imagery in politics. In the Eighteenth Brumaire he applies his 'materialist conception of history' to an actual historical event with extraordinary subtlety and an impressive, powerful command of language.

This volume contains the most recent and widely acclaimed translation of the Eighteenth Brumaire by Terrell Carver, together with a series of specially commissioned essays on the importance of the Brumaire in Marx's canon. Contributors discuss its continuing significance and interest, the historical background and its contemporary relevance for political philosophy and history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745318312
  • 9780745318318

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Table of contents



1. Introduction by Mark Cowling and James Martin

SECTION 1 The Text

2. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Trans. Terrell Carver) by Karl Marx

SECTION 2 The Eighteenth Brumaire as Discourse

3. Imagery/Writing, Imagination/Politics: reading Marx through the Eighteenth Brumaire by Terrell Carver

4. Performing Politics: class, ideology and discourse in Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire by James Martin

SECTION 3: The Eighteenth Brumaire as History

5. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte: 'hero' or 'grotesque mediocrity'? by Roger Price

6. The Appeal of Bonapartism by Geoff Watkins

SECTION 4 The Autonomy of the State?

7. The Political Scene and the Politics of Representation: periodising class struggle and the state in the Eighteenth Brumaire by Bob Jessop

8. Making Sense of the `Relative Autonomy' of the State by Paul Wetherly

SECTION 5 The Eighteenth Brumaire, Classes and Class Struggle, Then and Now

9. The Eighteenth Brumaire and Thatcherism by Paul Blackledge

10. Marx's Lumpenproletariat and Murray's Underclass: concepts best abandoned? by Mark Cowling

11. Here Content Transcends Phrase: the Eighteenth Brumaire as the key to understanding Marx's critique of utopian socialism

by Darren Webb

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About Mark Cowling

Mark Cowling is a Principal Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Teesside. He is co-editor of Marx's 'Eighteenth Brumaire': (Post)Modern Interpretations (Pluto, 2002) and Marxism, the Millennium and Beyond (St. Martin's Press, 2000). James Martin is Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Gramsci's Political Analysis (Palgrave, 1998) and editor of Antonio Gramsci: Critical Assessments of Leading Political Philosophers (Routledge, 2001) and co-editor of Marx's 'Eighteenth Brumaire': (Post)Modern Interpretations (Pluto, 2002).
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