Defeated in the East and discredited in the West, Marxism has broken down as an ideology and as a guide to governance. But, for all its flaws, it remains an important tool for understanding and raising questions about key aspects of modern life. In Marxism and the City Ira Katznelson critically assesses the scholarship on cities that has developed within Marxism in the past quarter century to show how some of the most important weaknesses in Marxism as a social theory can be remedied by forcing it to engage seriously with cities and spatial concerns. He argues that such a Marxism still has a significant contribution to make to the discussion of such historical questions as the transition from feudalism to a world composed of capitalist economies and nation-states and the acquiescence of the western working classes to capitalism. Professor Katznelson demonstrates how a Marxism that embraces complexity and is open to engagement with other social-theoretical traditions can illuminate our understanding of cities and of the patterns of class and group formation that have characterized urban life in the West.
About the Author
Ira Katznelson is Columbia University’s Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History. Having served as president of the American Political Science Association, he is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is also the author of When Affirmative Action Was White.
Table of ContentsMarxism and the city?; Themes in Marxist social theory; Towards a respatialized Marxism: Lefebvre, Harvey, and Castells; Capitalism, city space, and class formation: a journey organized by Friedrich Engels; From feudalism to capitalism: the place of the city; Working classes map the city; Remapping the city