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In Marx's Shadow

Knowledge, Power and Intellectuals in Eastern Europe and Russia

edited by: Costica Bradatan and Serguei Oushakine
published by: Lexington Books
pp: 296
ISBN: 978-0-7391-3624-9
price: € 59.58

Book's frontpage

Despite its key role in the intellectual shaping of state socialism, Communist ideas are often dismissed as mere propaganda or as a rhetorical exercise aimed at advancing socialist intellectuals on their way to power.
By drawing attention to unknown and unexplored areas, trends and ways of thinking under socialism, the volume examines Eastern European and Russian histories of intellectual movements inspired - negatively as well as positively - by Communist arguments and dogmas.
Through an interdisciplinary dialogue, the collection demonstrates how various bodies of theoretical knowledge (philosophical, social, political, aesthetic, even theological) were used not only to justify dominant political views, but also to frame oppositional and nonofficial discourses and practices.

The examination of the underlying structures of Communism as an intellectual project provides convincing evidence for questioning a dominant approach that routinely frames the post-Communist intellectual development as a “revival” or, at least, as a “return” of the repressed intellectual traditions.
As the book shows, the logic of a radical break, suggested by this approach, is in contradiction with historical evidence: a significant number of philosophical, theoretical and ideological debates in post-Communist world are in fact the logical continuation of intellectual conversations and confrontations initiated long before 1989.


Table of contents

Costica Bradatan, Serguei Oushakine, Introduction

Part I. The Sickle, the Hammer and the Typewriter
Mikhail Epstein, Ideas against Ideocracy: The Platonic Drama of Russian Thought
Jeffrey Murer, Asking for More: Finding Utopia in the Critical Sociology of the Budapest School and the Praxis Movement
Letitia Guran, Aesthetics: a Modus Vivendi in East Central Europe?
Clemena Antonova, Changing Perceptions of Pavel Florensky in Russian and Soviet Scholarship 

Part II. Heretics
Veronika Tuckerova,
The Totalitarian Languages of Utopia and Dystopia: Fidelius and Havel
Costica Bradatan, Martyrdom and Philosophy. The Case of Jan Patocka
Natasa Kovacevic
, Anti-Communist Orientalism: Shifting Boundaries of Europe in Dissident Writing 
Part III. In Search of a (New) Mission
Serguei Oushakine
, Vitality Rediscovered: Theorizing Post-Soviet Ethnicity in Russia
Maria Todorova, Balkanism and postcolonilaism or on the Beauty of the Airplane View
Elena Gapova, Anxious Intellectuals: Framing the Nation as a class in Belarus 
Part IV. Reinventing Hope
Vladimir Tismaneanu, The Demise of Leninism and the Future of Liberal Values
Ivars Ijabs, ‘Politics of Authenticity’ and/or Civil Society
Aurelian Craiutu, Mihai Sora: A Philosopher of Dialogue and Hope



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