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The Cultural Politics of José Carlos Mariátegui

A definitive reevaluation of the relationship between culture and politics in the thought of Peruvian socialist José Carlos Mariátegui.

Influenced by anarchism and especially by anarcho-syndicalist Georges Sorel, the political praxis of Peruvian activist and scholar José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930) deviated from the policies mandated by the Comintern. Mariátegui saw only new subjectivities as capable of making a revolution that would not recreate bourgeois or fascist structures. For Mariátegui, a new society required a new culture. He therefore not only founded the Peruvian Socialist Party, but also created Amauta, a magazine that brought together the writings of the political and cultural avant-gardes. This landmark book both examines Mariátegui’s views on the political valence of cultural habits and products and assesses the cultural underpinnings of the political proposals found in his writings and actions.

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Reviews
  • "This is a fascinating new book on Latin America’s most significant intellectual of the left: Jose Carlos Mariátegui. Juan De Castro gives us an incisive analysis of Mariátegui's deeply original understanding of cosmopolitanism, his idea of socialism and his anti-racist interpretations of Peru, Latin America and the world's literature and politics. This book is a must read!"

    –Federico Finchelstein, author A Brief HIstory of Fascist Lies