In Marx After Marx, Harry Harootunian questions the claims of Western Marxism and its presumption of the final completion of capitalism. If this shift in Marxism reflected the recognition that the expected revolutions were not forthcoming in the years before World War II, its Cold War afterlife helped to both unify the West in its struggle with the Soviet Union and bolster the belief that capitalism remained dominant in the contest over progress. This book deprovincializes Marx and the West's cultural turn by returning to the theorist's earlier explanations of capital's origins and development, which followed a trajectory beyond Euro-America to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Marx's expansive view shows how local circumstances, time, and culture intervened to reshape capital's system of production in these regions. His outline of a diversified global capitalism was much more robust than was his sketch of the English experience in Capital and helps explain the disparate routes that evolved during the twentieth century. Engaging with the texts of Lenin, Luxemburg, Gramsci, and other pivotal theorists, Harootunian strips contemporary Marxism of its cultural preoccupation by reasserting the deep relevance of history.
Columbia University Press
Country of Publication:
15 August 2017
Professional and scholarly
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Deprovincializing Marx1. Marx, Time, History2. Marxism's Eastward Migration3. Opening to the Global South4. Theorizing Late Development and the Persistence of Feudal Remnants : Wang Yanan, Yamada Moritaro, and Uno Kozo5. Colonial/PostcolonialAfterword: World History and the EverydayNotesIndex
Harry Harootunian spent most of his career teaching history and East Asian studies at the University of Chicago, where he is Max Palevsky Professor of History Emeritus. He is now adjunct senior research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, where he teaches a graduate course. He has published on various periods of Japan's intellectual and cultural history and on questions of Marxism and historical writing. He is also the author of History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life and Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan.
Reviews for Marx After Marx: History and Time in the Expansion of Capitalism
Harootunian's reading of Marx, in particular, is a revelation and should put to rest the facile assumption that Marx's conception of the historical is reducible to the banalities of modernization theory. Marx After Marx is a provocative and important intervention in a critical conjuncture by a major scholar. This is a landmark study within Marxist thought. Drawing largely on Marx's later works for its conceptual tools and theoretical method, Marx After Marx analyzes how different regions under differing circumstances cast a plurality of developmental forms all under the general code of capitalist accumulation. -- Michael Dutton, author of Policing Chinese Politics: A History Harry Harootunian is singularly qualified to give us a Marxism adequate to the conditions of a genuine 'world' (as against a Hegelian 'universalist') history in a global age. The Marx who emerges from this book is a nuanced, empirical, and genuinely historical thinker instead of the pseudo-scientific 'philosopher of history' met with in textbook accounts of Western Marxism. -- Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz