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Dialectical Materialism

2009
Author:

Henri Lefebvre
Translated by John Sturrock
Foreword by Stefan Kipfer

Dialectical Materialism

The first U.S. edition of an important French Marxist text

Dialectical Materialism is an implicit response to Joseph Stalin’s Dialectical and Historical Materialism and an attempt to show that the Stalinist understanding of the concept was dogmatic and oversimplified. This edition contains a new introduction by Stefan Kipfer, explaining the book’s contemporary ramifications in the ever-expanding reach of the urban in the twentieth-century Western world.

With the aim of widening the scope of Marxist theory, Henri Lefebvre finished Dialectical Materialism just before the beginning of World War II and the Resistance movement against the Vichy regime. As the culmination of Lefebvre’s interwar activities, the book highlights the tension-fraught relationship between Lefebvre and the French Communist Party (PCF). For Lefebvre, unlike for the PCF, Marxism was above all a dynamic movement of theory and practice. Dialectical Materialism is an implicit response to Joseph Stalin’s Dialectical and Historical Materialism and an attempt to show that the Stalinist understanding of the concept was dogmatic and oversimplified.

This edition contains a new introduction by Stefan Kipfer, explaining the book’s contemporary ramifications in the ever-expanding reach of the urban in the twentieth-century Western world.

Dialectical Materialism

Henri Lefebvre (1901–1991) was heralded in Radical Philosophy as “the most prolific of French Marxist intellectuals.” He was a sociologist, philosopher, activist, and public intellectual.

Stefan Kipfer is associate professor in the faculty of environmental studies at York University, Toronto.

John Sturrock is the editor and translator of many volumes of classic literature.

Dialectical Materialism

Contents

TRANSLATOR' S NOTE
CODE TO REFERENCES
PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION Stefan Kipfer

Dialectical Materialism

Foreword to the Fifth Edition

I. THE DIALECTICAL CONTRADICTION

A critique of Hegel's dialectic
Historical materialism
Dialectical materialism
Unity of the doctrine

II. THE PRODUCTION OF MAN

Analysis of the Product
The activities of integration
The controlled sector and the uncontrolled sector
Physical determinism
Social determinism
The total man
Towards the total content

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY