Archive for the ‘US Left’ Category

Marxism and Pragmatism

My reading over the past few days, (George Hutchinson’s The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White) has thrown some light on a theme in my field lists whose presence I wouldn’t previously have recognized: American pragmatism.  Hutchinson argues that pragmatist philosophy suffused the interracial institutions which sustained the Renaissance (such as the NAACP), and that many of the period’s key texts betray a pragmatist influence.  This influence also extended to institutions of the Left, such as Max Eastman’s Masses.  While doing a bit of digging on the subject online, I stumbled across this short review essay by Michael Denning on two important recent works on the relationship between pragmatism and American Marxism.  Well worth reading.

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