When Marx Mattered: An Intellectual Odyssey (Hardback)
  • When Marx Mattered: An Intellectual Odyssey (Hardback)
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When Marx Mattered: An Intellectual Odyssey (Hardback)

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£80.99
Hardback 282 Pages / Published: 30/06/2014
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A beautifully written, trenchant, and moving memoir, When Marx Mattered follows Harold J. Bershady's odyssey from childhood through his coming of intellectual age. The wounds and pleasures of his childhood include fear of Nazis, poverty, the joys and constraints of Jewishness, his caring family and love of music, and the confusion surrounding World War II. In this book, Bershady describes his teenage encounter with Marxism and how it provided some understanding of the world and hope for peace.

Bershady gives us a serious portrayal of the evolution of scholarly judgment, but also a social history of the second half of the twentieth century, refracted through the author's own experiences in which Jewish Americans played an important but under-appreciated part. Along the way, the author corrects the misapprehension that Jewish or non-Jewish American political radicals only evolve into conservatives. Through his own mistakes and hard-won lessons, Bershady shows the power, importance, and morality that intellectual standards play in enabling an intellectual to achieve sound and fair judgments.

Bershady firmly believes that his achievements in the social sciences are grounded in the fact that he also studied philosophy, literature, and history-all of which immeasurably deepened his understanding of social life. The generational portrait in this book is both an homage to those who preceded him and a hope for educational broadening of social science in the generation to come.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781412853699
Number of pages: 282
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Bershady's When Marx Mattered is erudite, poignant, and historically insightful. He traces, in reference to his own life, the experience and dilemmas of individuals who were children of immigrant Jews in 1930s America. His main question is why so many Marxist Jewish Americans of his generation were to become much more liberal and highly skeptical about the Messianic, utopian claims of Soviet ideology. He does this against a backdrop of the European Holocaust, widespread anti-Semitism, and a thoroughly Jewish working-class upbringing. Not least, he explores the issue of the sociological destinations of many people of similar upbringing. Bershady's book is an excellent example of the proposition that the very best sociology consists in refracted forms of autobiography."

--Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh


"Charming prose and moving stories."

--Helmut Staubmann, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

"Bershady's When Marx Mattered is erudite, poignant, and historically insightful. He traces, in reference to his own life, the experience and dilemmas of individuals who were children of immigrant Jews in 1930s America. His main question is why so many Marxist Jewish Americans of his generation were to become much more liberal and highly skeptical about the Messianic, utopian claims of Soviet ideology. He does this against a backdrop of the European Holocaust, widespread anti-Semitism, and a thoroughly Jewish working-class upbringing. Not least, he explores the issue of the sociological destinations of many people of similar upbringing. Bershady's book is an excellent example of the proposition that the very best sociology consists in refracted forms of autobiography."

--Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh


"The mixture of high culture and sensitivity towards social and political issues which derived from the status of being Jewish is vividly described even for the first years of his life, in moving autobiographical stories and anecdotes."

--Helmut Staubmann, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

"Bershady's When Marx Mattered is erudite, poignant, and historically insightful. He traces, in reference to his own life, the experience and dilemmas of individuals who were children of immigrant Jews in 1930s America. His main question is why so many Marxist Jewish Americans of his generation were to become much more liberal and highly skeptical about the Messianic, utopian claims of Soviet ideology. He does this against a backdrop of the European Holocaust, widespread anti-Semitism, and a thoroughly Jewish working-class upbringing. Not least, he explores the issue of the sociological destinations of many people of similar upbringing. Bershady's book is an excellent example of the proposition that the very best sociology consists in refracted forms of autobiography."

--Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh


"The mixture of high culture and sensitivity towards social and political issues which derived from the status of being Jewish is vividly described even for the first years of his life, in moving autobiographical stories and anecdotes."

--Helmut Staubmann, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

"Bershady's When Marx Mattered is erudite, poignant, and historically insightful. He traces, in reference to his own life, the experience and dilemmas of individuals who were children of immigrant Jews in 1930s America. His main question is why so many Marxist Jewish Americans of his generation were to become much more liberal and highly skeptical about the Messianic, utopian claims of Soviet ideology. He does this against a backdrop of the European Holocaust, widespread anti-Semitism, and a thoroughly Jewish working-class upbringing. Not least, he explores the issue of the sociological destinations of many people of similar upbringing. Bershady's book is an excellent example of the proposition that the very best sociology consists in refracted forms of autobiography."

--Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh


-The mixture of high culture and sensitivity towards social and political issues which derived from the status of being Jewish is vividly described even for the first years of his life, in moving autobiographical stories and anecdotes.-

--Helmut Staubmann, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

-Bershady's When Marx Mattered is erudite, poignant, and historically insightful. He traces, in reference to his own life, the experience and dilemmas of individuals who were children of immigrant Jews in 1930s America. His main question is why so many Marxist Jewish Americans of his generation were to become much more liberal and highly skeptical about the Messianic, utopian claims of Soviet ideology. He does this against a backdrop of the European Holocaust, widespread anti-Semitism, and a thoroughly Jewish working-class upbringing. Not least, he explores the issue of the sociological destinations of many people of similar upbringing. Bershady's book is an excellent example of the proposition that the very best sociology consists in refracted forms of autobiography.-

--Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh

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