Cover image for Adventures in Marxism
Adventures in Marxism
Berman, Marshall, 1940-2013.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Verso, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 273 pages ; 20 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HX39.5 .B427 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



I feel like I'm one of those people that you talk about whose lives have been adventures in Marxism. I'm fifty years old, and since I spent my life as a construction worker raising a family, I'm at this stage still in college ... Your book was inspiring to me because it reminded me why I made the sacrifices I did to get an education ... the sheer joy of learning about ideas and the hope that education can make some kind of difference. He great thing about your approach to Marx is that you show that theory and the world of ideas can be exciting and intellectually rich, but also relevant to all workers, blue collar or otherwise. --Personal letter to the Author from Scott Smith, construction worker and student (Pittsburgh)

Author Notes

Marshall Berman has taught political theory and urbanism at the City University of New York since the late 1960s.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Verso published its new edition of The Communist Manifesto last year, intellectuals of all stripes vied with one another to sing its praises. As this unusual collection of essays shows, however, Berman was there way before most of them. Berman (All That Is Solid Melts into Air), who teaches at the City University of New York, has been a fixture of the New Left for so long he's started calling it the "Used Left." The pieces included here, many of which were first published in journals such as the Nation and the New York Times Book Review, form a rich inquiry into the ambiguities of Marxist thought, attending to the skeptical and self-critical tendencies of Marx himself. Reviews of books from the likes of Studs Terkel and Edmund Wilson argue for a vibrant leftist politics that embraces the sexy, exuberant side of intellectual activity. Appraisals of the lives and works of Marx, Luk cs and Walter Benjamin flesh out Berman's critical but affirmative history of the New Left. Avoiding the didactic voice often associated with Marxist writings, Berman rustles joyfully through the ideas and texts that constitute the core literature of Marxist humanism (Marxism without tanks). Still, readers should be advised that close readings of Capital abound, notably in a chapter taken from Berman's 1963 Oxford thesis, written under the supervision of Isaiah Berlin. Ultimately, Berman advocates what Marx called "practical-critical activity," or the act of continually striving to improve upon one's life and, by extension, the world. This collectionÄthough unfortunately a piecemeal collection rather than a sustained argumentÄcould easily qualify as just such an enterprise. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction Caught Up in the Mix: Some Adventures in Marxismp. 1
1 Marx: The Dancer and the Dancep. 19
2 Freedom and Fetishismp. 37
3 Still Waiting at the Stationp. 57
4 Studs Terkel: Living in the Muralp. 65
5 The People in Capitalp. 79
6 All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Marx, Modernism and Modernizationp. 91
7 The Signs in the Streetp. 153
8 From Paris to Gdanskp. 171
9 Georg Lukacs's Cosmic Chutzpahp. 181
10 Isaac Babel: Waiting for the Barbariansp. 207
11 Meyer Schapiro: The Presence of the Subjectp. 221
12 Walter Benjamin: Angel in the Cityp. 237
13 Unchained Melodyp. 253
Indexp. 269