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Janos Kis: How Is Critical Economic Theory Possible? – Preface

The book’s “concerns respond to the parallel upsurge and defeat of the New Left in the West and the Prague Spring in Eastern Europe, and the ideological tensions between those parallel movements,” our Senior Research Fellow Janos Kis writes in the new Preface of How Is Critical Economic Theory Possible?

The book, co-authored by Janos Kis, Gyorgy Markus and Gyorgy Bence 50 years ago, is now available in print with Brill. It was written in the aftermath of the turbulent year of 1968, and it bears the imprint of its time, but the authors, as Janos Kis argues, “responded to the hopes and disappointments of those years by rethinking the foundations of Marxist theory. That rethinking resulted in the manuscript of the present book. True, How Is Critical Economic Theory Possible? was written in the belief that the aspirations of the New Left and the ambitions of the Prague Spring could be reconciled. We also expected the defeat of the two movements to be temporary. That belief and that expectation have been refuted by history. But the book, with its subject matter and analytic apparatus transcended its historical context. To the extent that Marx’s ideas continue to exert a lasting if controversial impact on social and political thought, our critical re-interpretation of Marx has not lost its actuality, or so I believe.”

How Is Critical Economic Theory Possible? has a peculiar story,” Janos Kis writes. The Preface tells this story.

Read the Preface here.

Learn more about the book here.

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