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About the Author: Louis Althusser

Louis Pierre Althusser (1918–1990) was one of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the 20th Century. As they seemed to offer a renewal of Marxist thought as well as to render Marxism philosophically respectable, the claims he advanced in the 1960s about Marxist philosophy were discussed and debated worldwide. Due to apparent reversals in his theoretical positions, to the ill-fated facts of his life, and to the historical fortunes of Marxism in the late twentieth century, this intense interest in Althusser's reading of Marx did not survive the 1970s. Despite the comparative indifference shown to his work as a whole after these events, the theory of ideology Althusser developed within it has been broadly deployed in the social sciences and humanities and has provided a foundation for much “post-Marxist” philosophy. In addition, aspects of Althusser's project have served as inspiration for Analytic Marxism as well as for Critical Realism. Though this influence is not always explicit, Althusser's work and that of his students continues to inform the research programs of literary studies, political philosophy, history, economics, and sociology. In addition, his autobiography has been subject to much critical attention over the last decade. At present, Althusser's philosophy as a whole is undergoing a critical reevaluation by scholars who have benefited from the anthologization of hard-to-find and previously unpublished texts and who have begun to engage with the great mass of writings that remain in his archives.


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Paperback, Published in Jan 2011 by Verso

ISBN10: 1844676757 | ISBN13: 9781844676750

Page count: 224

The text of Althusser's lecture course on Machiavelli, originally delivered at the Ecole normale superieure in 1972.

"We do not publish our own drafts, that is, our own mistakes, but we do sometimes publish other people's," Louis Althusser once observed of Marx's early writings. Among his own posthumously released drafts, one, at least, is incontestably neither mistake nor out-take: the text of his lecture course on Machiavelli, originally delivered at the Ecole Normale Superieure in 1972, intermittently revised up to the mid-1980s, and carefully prepared for publication after his death in 1990.

Though only appearing as an occasional reference in the Marxist philosopher's oeuvre, Machiavelli was an unseen constant presence. For together with Spinoza and Marx, Machiavelli was a veritable Althusserian passion. Machiavelli and Us reveals why, and will be welcomed for the light it sheds on the richly complex thought of its author.

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