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Art and Revolution: Writings on Literature, Politics & Culture

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  6 reviews
One of the outstanding revolutionary leaders of the 2Oth century discusses questions of literature, art, and culture in a period of capitalist decline and working-class struggle. In these writings, Trotsky examines the place and aesthetic autonomy of art and artistic expression in the struggle for a new, socialist society.
Paperback, 278 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Pathfinder
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Tyler
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: marx-and-friends

You've got to get out of bed early if you want to outdo Leon Trotsky. When he's not commanding armies, plotting revolution, or leading mass opposition, he spares time for art criticism. And why not? Art, he says, is an integral part of human culture, a necessary function of social man.

The first part of this book contains Trotsky's art criticism, the second part essays on particular subjects or artists. In the critical part he of course deplores the decline in bourgeois art, a process only to be
...more
Alex Billet
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Leon Trotsky was undoubtedly one of the most dynamic thinkers of the Bolshevik revolution and in the Marxist pantheon as a whole. One question -- odd yet prescient -- arises when we think first think of Art & Revolution: why would he care about art in the first place? Here is a man who was the first president of the Petrograd workers' council, leader of the Red Army, a subtle thinker who tirelessly promoted the idea that there were consequences in Russia's combined and uneven development for rev ...more
Chris
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a revolutionary, Trotsky never writes in a vacuum, separate from practice. As with Lenin and others, it is important when reading any of his work to understand what was happening in politics at that time, and what he was responding to. Underlying any of his thoughts on art and culture are wider arguments he is carrying forward.

This is a collection of Trotsky's writing on art, literature and culture. Paul N. Siegal does well in his introductions to each piece to explain the context in which th
...more
Mary
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am reading this book very slowly. Many of his essays are very short, and first appeared in the Partisan Review. His views on art are great. He does not have this political and dogmatic vision of what art should be. He is surprisingly and refreshingly open about art. Of course, he hung out with artists, so maybe his openness shouldn't be surprising. ...more
Brian
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: partly-read
Important topic to me....relates to Sinclair's Guitar Army, as well as Lit and revolution....do it.....grateful dead....John Lennon....

Important Work..........ideas similar to Plato in his political work "The Republic"...

Im bout 80 pages in need to re-borrow and finish
...more
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Leon Trotsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. He was one of the leaders of the Russian October Revolution, second only to Vladimir Lenin. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army and People's Commissar of War. He was also among the first members
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