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4.0 out of 5 stars A dig through the archives, 3 Mar. 2009
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This review is from: The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings (Paperback)
This selection of previously-unpublished writings is of great interest to people who want seriously to engage with Althusser's work. It documents a transitional period in his oeuvre, from the pathbreaking early essays to the rather convoluted period of self-criticism that would last until his most infamous breakdown and murder of his wife.

Here we have the genesis of many of his most famous formulations, particularly as regards the theory of ideological state apparatuses and interpellation. There is also a deal of interesting material on Marx's relationship with Hegel, which reveal a far more nuanced picture than either Althusser's critics or his own earlier works would indicate.

The accompanying introduction and notes from translator G.M. Goshgarian are highly useful as well, and one wonders ruefully how much more sensible discussions around this figure, the bete noire of the vulgar Hegelians who so dominate academic Marxism today, would be if the latter could somehow be cajoled to read Goshgarian's commentary en masse.

That said, it is not one to start off with - the classics (Reading Capital, For Marx and Lenin and Philosophy) should be dealt with first.
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The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings
The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings by Louis Althusser (Paperback - 17 Aug. 2003)
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