Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
We Cannot Escape History
States and Revolutions
These essays focus on the two great themes of nation and revolution, and the third which links them: the state.
Neil Davidson explores classic themes of nation, state, and revolution in this collection of essays. Ranging from the extent to which nationalism can be a component of led-wing politics to the difference between bourgeois and socialist revolutions, the book concludes with an extended discussion of the different meanings history has for conservatives, radicals, and Marxists.
  • Praise for How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?:

    "I was frankly pole-axed by this magnificent book. Davidson resets the entire debate on the character of revolutions: bourgeois, democratic, and socialist. He's sending me, at least, back to the library."
    —Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

    "This is, quite simply, the finest book of its kind."
    —Tony McKenna, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

    Praise for Holding Fast to an Image of the Past: Essays on Marxism and History:

    This is Neil Davidson at his very best. In a sparkling set of essays, Davidson offers a conceptually sophisticated and historically wide-ranging analysis of the work of classical and contemporary political thinkers. . . . In terms of its depth of learning it stands in comparison with Perry Anderson's Zone of Engagement. An essential read.
    —Satnam Virdee, professor of Sociology at the University of Glasgow

    Holding Fast to an Image of the Past is illuminating, authoritative, and sometimes very funny . . . this new collection fruitfully combines wide-ranging erudition with vivid vignettes."
    —Bridget Fowler, emeritus professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow

Related blog posts View all related posts

  • Understanding the British Election: An Interview with Neil Davidson

    With both the Labour Party and the Conservatives having launched their manifestos in recent days, Britain’s snap general election is gathering momentum. Jeremy Corbyn’s program has been widely described as Labour’s most radical and left-wing for decades; meanwhile, the Tories continue their sharp shift to the right under Theresa May. Added to this, Brexit and renewed calls for Scottish independence mean that the election is taking place in a context of profound change and uncertainty. Haymarket Books' Duncan Thomas interviewed Neil Davidson, British socialist and author of How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?, to glean some meaning from the madness.

    Credit: Loz Pycock

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Other books by Neil Davidson

  • As Radical as Reality Itself

    Davidson brilliantly argues the case that Marxism should be seen as a living, breathing, critically engaged tradition.
  • How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (Abridged Edition)

    The globalized economy of the present is the result of political and social revolutions directed against pre-capitalist economic structures.
  • Nation-States

    Davidson argues that a Marxist understanding of the meaning of contemporary nation-states must begin from the inseparable connections between them.
  • Holding Fast to an Image of the Past

    Davidson discusses how Marxism can retain a sense of historical tradition without becoming fossilized.