Left in the Past, Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia; Alastair Bonnett
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This title looks at the role nostalgia plays in the radical imagination to offer a new guide to the history and politics of the left. In "Left in the Past", Bonnett re-assesses the place of nostalgia within radical politics and, in doing so, provides a new introduction to the history and politics of the left. Bonnett argues that nostalgia has been a chronic, but repressed, aspect of the socialist imagination. "Left in the Past" is premised on the idea that, in our 'post-socialist era', the relationship between radicalism and a sense of loss, and the ambivalent position of socialism in and against modernity, can be viewed with greater clarity. In section one of the book, Bonnett shows the centrality and repression of nostalgia in both 19th-century radicalism and anticolonial radicalism. In section two, he explores the consequences of this inheritance by way of 20th century and contemporary studies of revolutionary intellectuals and intellectual culture. Bonnett's unique approach in how to understand the left in an age of post-socialism will make book a needed resource for anyone interested in the history and politics of the left and radicalism.
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