Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
A Great and Terrible World
The Pre-Prison Letters, 1908-1926
This edition of letters by Antonio Gramsci vividly evokes the 'great and terrible world' in which he lived.

A collection of letters is also essentially a biography – here of a man recognized as one of the twentieth century’s leading thinkers. By translating and presenting for the first time many letters previously overlooked by other volumes, this collection greatly expands what the English-speaking world knows of him, both politically and personally. These extracts from his pre-prison correspondence—with his wife and her sister, international communist leaders, and fellow Italian revolutionaries—show his most important ideas at their beginnings, and give a well rounded picture of Gramsci’s political, intellectual, and emotional development.

Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) was a founding member of the Italian Communist Party, and among the twentieth century's most influential theorists.

  • “This collection of Gramsci's early correspondence provides new insight into his life and work. Through these letters, we follow the development of Gramsci's own thought and his involvement with the international communist movement. This book will prove an indispensable resource, not only to Gramsci scholars, but to anyone interested in the history of the left more widely.”
    —Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism and Ghosts Of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures

    “This is a meticulous translation of a selection of Gramsci's pre-prison letters with an extensive introduction that places them in their historical context. These letters furnish fascinating new insights into both his personal and political life. Gramsci the man and Gramsci the politician emerge in new depth and detail. The volume is an invaluable asset to anyone interested in better understanding his ideas and his humanity.”
    —Professor Anne Showstack Sassoon, author of Gramsci and Contemporary Politics

Other books by Antonio Gramsci

  • Selections from Cultural Writings

    The most comprehensive collection of Antonio Gramsci's writings on the relationship between culture and politics available in the English language.