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Lefebvre (1901-91) is credited with the ideology that provoked the 1968 student uprisings in Paris, which started with a strike at Nanterre and rocked much of Europe. These three volumes, each previously published under separate cover, contain his critique of everyday life. His analyses start from a Marxist base and emphasize the tendency of capitalist society to dehumanize people by turning them into insatiable consumers whose purpose is to fuel a continuously expanding economy. Though Lefebvre counted himself among the "possibilists"-those who believed solutions must exist to the problems such societies pose-he found it difficult to propose a workable social plan, and his influence eventually faded. Since his death, Alain Badiou (b. 1937), who has argued that a truly open society must be predicated on notions of the infinite, has taken on some of the role that was once Lefebvre's, and his Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy should be read along with Lefebvre's work. Some academic libraries will welcome these convenient and well-translated texts, but public libraries are unlikely to find that the whole set justifies the shelf space it requires.
“One of the great French intellectual activists of the twentieth century.”—David Harvey
“The last great classical philosopher.”—Fredric Jameson