One of the most influential Marxist theorists of the twentieth century, Henri Lefebvre first published Marxist Thought and the City in the original French in 1972, marking a pivotal point in his evolution as a thinker and an important precursor to his groundbreaking work of urban sociology, The Production of Space. Marxist Thought and the City—inwhich he reviews the work of Marx and Engels for commentary and analysis on the life and growth of the city—now appears in English translation for the first time.
Rooted in orthodox Marxism’s analyses of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, with extensive quotes from the work of Marx and Engels, this book describes the city’s transition from life under feudalism to modern industrial capitalism. In doing so it highlights the various forces that sought to maintain power in the struggles between the medieval aristocracy and the urban guilds, and amid the growth of banking and capital.
Providing vital background and supplementary material to Lefebvre’s other books, including The Urban Revolution and Right to the City, Marxist Thought and the City is indispensable for students and scholars of urbanism, Marxism, social geography, early modern history, and the history of economic thought.
Henri Lefebvre (1901–1991) was a leading French philosopher, sociologist, and urban theorist. Many of his more than sixty books have appeared in English translation, including The Critique of Everyday Life, The Production of Space, and (all Minnesota) Dialectical Materialism; State, Space, World; and The Urban Revolution.
Robert Bononno has been a translator from French for more than twenty years. His recent nonfiction translations include Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, by Henri Lefebvre (Minnesota, 2014), Speech Begins after Death, by Michel Foucault and Claude Bonnefoy (Minnesota, 2013), and Language, Madness, and Desire by Michel Foucault (Minnesota, 2015).
Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.