A Selection Translated and Introduced by Hamish Henderson. Roots of Radicalism series.’An extraordinary philosopher … probably the most original communist thinker of twentieth-century Europe’ Eric Hobsbawm’These letters are a noble and moving testament both to Mussolini’s failure and to the courage and strength of will that drove Gramsci throughout his life’ The Observer’Gramsci’s letters … demonstrate the originality of his brand of communist thought … An extraordinary character, who does not deserve to be solely the property of academics and name-dropping cultural critics’ The ScotsmanAntonio Gramsci is one of the great European Marxists, hailed by Eric Hobsbawm as ‘an extraordinary philosopher … probably the most original communist thinker of twentieth-century Europe’. His primary contribution has been in his insistence on an understanding of popular culture in the battle to create a revolutionary consciousness. It is this humanitarian aspect of his thinking that illuminates the vivid personal testimony of his prison letters, written between 1926 and 1937. Antonio Gramsci’s writings are seen as having been instrumental in supplying a new relevance and context for political debate on the left in the 20th century, but this importance is not confined to his political theorizing: in opposititon to his contemporaries he insisted on the central importance of an understanding of popular culture in the battle to create a revolutionary consciousness. This collection of his prison letters, whether joking with his sons (one of whom he never saw), gently chiding his wife or recalling folk tales and songs from his Sardinian childhood, reveal a courageous individual, committed to the struggle for human liberation. A detailed introduction, background information and a profile of Gramsci are included.
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