Gramsci—Stalinist Without Dogma

Gramsci—Stalinist Without Dogma

Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers. 482 pp.

When Antonio Gramsci’s Letters from Prison were first published, ten years after his early death, Benedetto Croce—his old teacher and adversary who survived him—hailed the martyred leader of Italy’s Communist party as “one of the great literati of our country.” Twenty years later, the provincial government (not leftist but Christian Democratic) of his native Sardinia called a “Gramsci Congress,” which brought together philosophers, historians, and critics from many countries. Today there is hardly a major city in Italy without a Via Gramsci. In Rome, an Istituto Gramsci piously guards Gramsci’s papers pertaining to the turbulent history of the CPI, as well as the 2848 densely covered pages of his Quaderni (notebooks), reflecting his wide reading in history and the anxieties of the prisoner whose aspiration for a place in history were, for a time, frustrated. The present English edition is based on the original Italian six-volume selection, which was edited by Felice Platone and published in Torino by Einaudi, 1948-51.


Socialist thought provides us with an imaginative and moral horizon.

For insights and analysis from the longest-running democratic socialist magazine in the United States, sign up for our newsletter: