Books for changing the world
Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism
Selected Writings 1953-1974

Although Alasdair MacIntyre is best known today as the author of After Virtue (1981), he was, in the 1950s and 1960s, one of the most erudite members of Britain’s Marxist Left: being a militant within, first, the Communist Party, then the New Left, and finally the heterodox Trotskyist International Socialism group. This selection of his essays on Marxism from that period aims to show that his youthful thought profoundly informed his mature ethics, and that, in the wake of the collapse of the state-capitalist regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe, the powerful and optimistic revolutionary Marxist ethics of liberation he articulated in that period is arguably as salient to anti-capitalist activists today as it was half a century ago.

Paul Blackledge, D/Phil (1999) York, is the author of Perry Anderson, Marxism and the New Left (2004) and Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History (2006).

Neil Davidson is the author of The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (2000) and the Deutscher Prize winning Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003).

  • It is difficult to peruse his engagements with the problems of liberation in a world bisected by Stalinism and US-led capitalism without seeing how much the early emancipatory impulse drove his interrogation into ethics and morality. That Macintyre is no longer a marxist, moreover, does not mean he has made peace with capitalist modernity ... It is actually the very disdain for modernity that continues to give his writing a powerful critical edge.

    ---Lenin's tomb