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Juan Dal Maso

Apr 29, 2022

Hegemony and Class Struggle

Trotsky, Gramsci and Marxism

Palgrave Macmillan 2021

The Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky exerted a powerful influence on the world, even if his historical and theoretical contributions have often been downplayed, and people who wish to be associated with him are few and far between today. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this marginalization, but correcting it will require revisiting his thought in a careful and contextualized manner in order to better understand his ideas, salvage the underlying core and adapt it for the 21st century. 

One person attempting to do this is Juan Dal Maso in his new book Hegemony and Class Struggle: Trotsky, Gramsci and Marxism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Originally written and published in Spanish before being translated by the author for the series Marx, Engels and Marxism, the text spends the first two chapters revisiting Trotsky’s developing thoughts on hegemony, political leadership, party vanguards and bureaucracies, finding a highly dynamic figure whose thought reflected the changing times he was embedded in. Following this, Dal Maso returns to Gramsci’s notebooks, carefully contextualizing the often-critical remarks on Trotsky, cutting past surface appearances to find some key points of overlap in their thoughts on political revolution. The book ends with a series of reflections on the receptions of Trotsky and Gramsci, with one left on the margins of history and political theory, the other theorized to the point where his political commitments have been made to disappear. In all this, Dal Maso encourages us to see these figures in new light, and in doing so develop a Marxist conception of class struggle that can help bring us into the 21st century.

As a special bonus, NBN listeners can get this title at a 20% discount if they order directly from Palgrave with the code T9DD7FIMB34EMQ (offer expires 5/27/22).

Juan Dal Maso is a freelance researcher and activist in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a frequent contributor to Left Voice. He is also a member of the editorial board of Ideas de Izquierda Semanario (Ideas of the Left Weekly) in Argentina, and the author of the following books; El Marxismo de Gramsci (The Marxism of Gramsci, 2016), translated to Italian and Portuguese, and Althusser y Sacristán (Louis Althusser and Manuel Sacristán, 2020) written with Ariel Petruccelli.

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