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Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism

Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism

June 2006 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Tormey and Townshend have succeeded not only in making accessible the notoriously evasive ideas of ‘Post-Marxist’ thinkers, they have begun the vital work of critically examining their contribution to Marx’s project of overcoming capitalism."
- James Martin, Goldsmiths, University of London

"Excellent textbook - critical, challenging and thoroughly engaging!"
- Richard White, Sheffield Hallam University

"In language which is clear without being simplistic, Tormey and Townshend help readers think about ways to live 'with and without Marx' in the wake of Marxism’s historical failures as well as its continuing relevance to life under globalizing capitalism."
- Mark Rupert, Syracuse University

Key Thinkers in Critical Theory to Post Marxism is a comprehensive introduction to perhaps the most key intellectual trend in contemporary critical theory. In jargon-free language, it seeks to unpack, explain and review many of the key figures behind the rethinking of the legacy of Marxism in theory and practice.

Key thinkers covered include Cornelius Castoriadis, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, Laclau and Mouffe, Agnes Heller, Jacques Derrida, J rgen Habermas and post-Marxist feminism.

Each chapter covers a key thinker or contribution and thus can be read as a stand alone introduction to the principal aspects of their approach. Each chapter is followed by a summary of key points with a guide to further reading.

Underlying the text is also the central question: What is Post-Marxism? Instead of viewing Post-Marxism as an ideology, movement or tradition of theorizing, the authors advocate Post-Marxism as a loose appellation describing those who have problematised Marx’s approach to understanding and challenging contemporary capitalism. As such the book also offers an engaging commentary on some of the key political developments of our time including, for example, the anti-globalisation movement.

Key Thinkers in Critical Theory to Post Marxism provides an ideal introduction to a hitherto complex subject and will be essential reading for students of contemporary social and political inquiry.

From Critical Theory to Post-Marxism
An Introduction

Cornelius Castoriadis
Magmas and Marxism

Deleuze and Guattari
Rethinking Materialism

Jean-François Lyotard
From Combat to Conversation

Laclau and Mouffe
Towards a Radical Democratic Imaginary

Post-Marxist Feminism
Within and Against Marxism

Agnes Heller
Radical Humanism and the Postmodern

J rgen Habermas
Reconciling, Modernity, Autonomy and Solidarity

Jaques Derrida
Deconstructing Marxism(s)

Whither Post-Marxism?


This book has a great structure and the content delivers on what is offered in the title. Particularly enjoyed the chapter in Deleuze and Guattari.

Mrs Annamaria Berger-Jones Bergen-Jones
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University
December 8, 2023

This book contains background reading for many of the key theorists I discuss on my course.

Mr Andrew Ford
UCBC, Blackburn College
December 18, 2020

This text provides a valuable overview of a range of critical theory and is written in a very accessible manner, given the complexity of the topics introduced. Rightly or wrongly, too often critical theory is presented in a limited fashion with Marx and Freire occupying centre stage. This text opens the reader up to a wider range of critical theorists and offers perspectives that may challenge students to consider critical theory from unexpected points of view.

Ms Lorraine Anne Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
October 6, 2016

It is a very good textbook giving an overview of prominent scholars. The students find it interesting, easy to read and especially liked the summarizing bullet points and further reading sections at the end of each chapter.

Dr Basak Bilecen
Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
October 2, 2013

A comprehensive yet accessibly written review of a much-neglected aspect of critical theory in undergraduate teaching.

Dr Vanja Hamzic
Department of Law, City University
May 14, 2013

Useful and interesting overview. Pearhaps too advanced for HNC.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
January 22, 2013

This is a really useful resource and helps my students to join up thinkers, providing insightful and digestible information on theorists we don't have time to cover in depth on the module. Great book.

Dr Calum Neill
Health and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University
November 6, 2012

Excellent textbook - critical, challenging and thoroughly engaging!

Dr Richard White
Faculty of Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University
March 12, 2010

Outstanding introductory textbook.

Professor Anna Younan
Psychology Dept, Depaul University - Lincoln Park
November 2, 2009

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