In the Red Corner: The Marxism of José Carlos Mariátegui | Left Wing Books

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In the Red Corner: The Marxism of José Carlos Mariátegui

Author: 
Format: 
Size: 
248 pages
ISBN: 
9781608469154
Publisher: 
Year: 
2019
Price:
$20.25 (CAD)
List price:
$25.65 (CAD)

The first English-language biography of one of Latin America’s most important, innovative, and enduringly relevant, Marxist thinkers.

José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930) is widely recognized across Latin America as one of the most important and innovative Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century. Yet his life and work are largely unknown to the English-speaking world. In this gripping political biography—the first written in English—Mike Gonzalez introduces readers to the inspiring life and thought of the Peruvian socialist. As one of the first modern thinkers to discuss what Marxism has to offer, and to learn from, the struggles of Indigenous peoples, his ideas have an immediate relevance in the context of Standing Rock and other native-led fights challenging pipelines across North America.

 

What People Are Saying

“Mariátegui’s Marxism involved a deep, almost archaeological, appreciation for the deposition and accumulation of Peruvian history's sedimentary layers. In his brief life he probed the complex particularities of that social formation across economics, history, politics, literature, and ideology. He intervened tirelessly in local affairs. At the same time, he knew these immediate, local concerns did not exist in pristine isolation from wider relations. With unparalleled determination, he insisted Peruvian reality could only be grappled with insofar as its innumerable entanglements with the rest of Latin America, and indeed the world—through the history of colonialism and capitalism—were fathomed and assimilated into revolutionary strategy. Latin America's socialist revolutions would never be a mere copy of European traditions, but they were nevertheless bound up in a shared universal project of emancipation. Mariátegui’s heretical Marxism involved a utopian-revolutionary dialectic, in which select elements of indigenous communal traditions of the pre-capitalist past were combined with a forward-looking post-capitalist future, where the difference of the particular wasn't cancelled by the project of the universal. This impressive book by Mike Gonzalez turns Mariátegui’s dialectic back on its author, parsing Mariátegui’s life and work with all the necessary attentiveness to time and place, while simultaneously borrowing selectively from its riches to help reinvent a living Marxism and revolutionary politics adequate to our present." Jeffery R. Webber, author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left

"Mike Gonzalez has long championed José Carlos Mariátegui. His 2007 article in International Socialism is still one of the best introductions to Mariátegui, and if this book can bring this fascinating Latin American revolutionary to a wider English-speaking audience, so much the better." Steve Cushion, author of A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution in The Chartist

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