The History of History and Class Consciousness

  • Richard Westerman
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)


Tracing the development of Lukács’s thought from the heady days of revolution in 1919 to the publication of History and Class Consciousness in 1923, Westerman argues Lukács’s masterwork should not be seen as a single, relatively unified whole. The last-written essays of the book—‘What is Orthodox Marxism?,’ ‘Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,’ and ‘Towards a Methodology of the Problem of Organisation’—are quite different from the earlier ones in their theoretical sophistication. Pointing to the references Lukács makes, to changes in his use of the term ‘consciousness,’ and to Lukács’s increasing tendency to use the term ‘totality’ to designate a self-enclosed whole, Westerman argues that these essays represent a theoretical return to his Heidelberg works. This justifies treating those works as a unified lens to interpret Lukács’s Marxian social theory.


  1. 1.
    Gluck, Mary. 1985. Georg Lukács and His Generation 1900–18. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Husserl, Edmund. 1965. Philosophy as a Strict Science. In Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy. Trans. Q. Lauer. New York/Evanston/London: Harper.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arpad, Kadarkay. 1991. Georg Lukács: Life, Thought, Politics. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Larsen, Neil. 2011. Lukács sans Proletariat, or Can History and Class Consciousness Be Rehistoricized? In Georg Lukács: The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence. Aesthetics, Politics, Literature, ed. Timothy Bewes and Timothy Hall, 81–101. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Löwy, Michael. 1979. Georg Lukács: From Romanticism to Bolshevism. Trans. Patrick Camiller. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lukács, Georg. 1968–1981. Werke, (W), ed. György Márkus and Frank Benseler, 18 vols. Darmstadt: Luchterhand.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    ———. 1971 [1923]. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics, [HCC]. Trans. Rodney Livingstone. London: Merlin.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    ———. 1983. Record of a Life. Trans. Rodney Livingstone, ed. Istvan Eörsi. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    ———. 1995. Bolshevism as an Ethical Problem. In The Lukács Reader, ed. Arpad Kadarkay, 216–221. Oxford: Blackwell 220.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    ———. 1972. Tactics and Ethics: Political Essays, 1919–29. Trans. Michael McColgan, ed. Rodney Livingstone. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ———. 1985. Dostojewski Notizen und Entwurfe, ed. J.C. Nyíri. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    ———. 1997. Lenin: A Study in the Unity of his Thought. Trans. Nicholas Jacobs. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1973. Adventures of the Dialectic. Trans. Joseph Bien. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Simmel, Georg. 2004. The Philosophy of Money. Trans. Tom Bottomore, David Frisby, and Kaethe Mengelberg. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Skinner, Quentin. 2002. Interpretation and the Understanding of Speech Acts. In Visions of Politics, Vol. I, Regarding Method, ed. Quentin Skinner, vol. I, 103–127. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stedman Jones, G. 1977. The Marxism of the Early Lukács. In Western Marxism: A Critical Reader, ed. Stedman Jones et al., 11–60. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Weber, Max. 2001. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Trans. Talcott Parsons. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Westerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations