How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (Abridged Edition)

How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (Abridged Edition)

by Neil Davidson

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How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (Abridged Edition) by Neil Davidson

Once of central importance to left historians and activists alike, recently the concept of the “bourgeois revolution” has come in for sustained criticism from both marxists and conservatives. In this abridged edition of his magisterial How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? Neil Davidson expertly distills his theoretical and historical insights about the nature of revolutions, making them available for general readers. Through far reaching research and comprehensive analysis, Davidson demonstrates that what's at stake is far from a stale issue for the history books – understanding these struggles of the past offer far reaching lessons for today's radicals

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608467310
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Edition description: Abridged Edition
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Neil Davidson currently lectures in Sociology with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (2000), Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003), for which he was awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize, How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (2012), Holding Fast to an Image of the Past (2014) and We Cannot Escape History (2015). Davidson is on the editorial boards of rs21 and the Scottish Left Project website. He is a member of the Radical Independence Campaign.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Reproductions ix

Preface xii

Part 1 Prehistory: Insights and Limitations

1 The Concept of "Revolution": From Tradition to Modernity 3

2 Interpreting the English Revolutions: Hobbes, Harrington, and Locke 19

3 Stages of Development: French Physiocrats and the Scottish Historical School 37

4 The American Theory of Political Revolution 55

5 The Contradictions of the French Revolution (1): Barnave and His Contemporaries 63

6 The Contradictions of the French Revolution (2): Burke and His Critics 72

7 The Bourgeoisie and the Concept of Social Revolution: From Consolidation to Abdication 89

Part 2 Origins, Developments, Orthodoxy

8 Marx and Engels (1) 1843^17: Between Enlightenment and Historical Materialism 112

9 Marx and Engels (2) 1847-52: The Bourgeois Revolution in Theory and Practice 133

10 Marx and Engels (3) after 1852: Transitions, Revolutions, and Agency 152

11 Classical Marxism (1) 1889-1905: Bourgeois Revolution in the Social Democratic Worldview 181

12 Classical Marxism (2) 1905-24: The Russian Crucible 198

13 The Emergence of Orthodoxy: 1924-40 248

14 Classical Marxism (3) 1924-40: Rethinking Bourgeois Revolution-Strategy, History, Tradition 275

Part 3 Revisions, Reconstructions, Alternatives

15 Revisionism: The Bourgeois Revolutions Did Not Take Place 332

16 From Society to Politics; from Event to Process 370

17 "The Capitalist World-System" 385

18 "Capitalist Social Property Relations" 397

19 "Consequentialism" 428

Part 4 The Specificity of the Bourgeois Revolutions

20 Between Two Social Revolutions 486

21 Preconditions for an Era of Bourgeois Revolution 506

22 Patterns of Consummation 575

Epilogue: Reflections in a Scottish Cemetery 632

Notes 658

Bibliography 728

Index 794

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

I was frankly poleaxed by this magnificent book. Davidson resets the entire debate on the character of revolutions: bourgeois, democratic, and socialist. He’s sending me, at least, back to the library.” —MIKE DAVIS, author, Planet of Slums

" What should our conception of a bourgeois revolution be, if it is to enlighten rather than to mislead ? Neil Davidson’s instructive and provocative answer is given through a history both of a set of concepts and of those social settings in which they found application.His book is an impressive contribution both to the history of ideas and to political philosophy.” —ALASDAIR MACINTYRE, author, After Virtue

“Neil Davidson wends his way through the jagged terrain of a wide range of Marxist writings and debates to distill their lessons in what is unquestionably the most thorough discussion of the subject to date. If the paradox at the heart of the bourgeois revolutions was that the emergence of the modern bourgeois state had little to do with the agency of the bourgeoisie, then Davidson’s study is by far the most nuanced and illuminating discussion of this complex fact.A brilliant and fascinating book, wide-ranging and lucidly written.” —JAIRUS BANAJI, author, Theory as History

“[This] is a monumental work. Neil Davidson has given us what is easily the most comprehensive account yet of the ‘life and times’ of the concept of ‘bourgeois revolution.’ . . . This would have been enough. However, Davidson has also provided us with a refined set of theoretical tools for understanding the often complex interactions between political revolutions which overturn state institutions and social revolutions which involve a more thoroughgoing transformation of social relations.”
—COLIN MOOERS, author, The Making of Bourgeois Europe

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