The Work of Sartre

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NYU Press, Jul 1, 2012 - Philosophy - 360 pages
This landmark book, first published in 1979, met acclaim as a doubly important work of radical philosophy. Its subject, Jean-Paul Sartre, was among the twentieth century's most controversial and influential philosophers; its author, István Mészáros, was himself establishing a reputation for profound contributions to the Marxian tradition, which would continue into the next century. The Work of Sartre was thus considered essential for its insights on Sartre and as a piece of Mészáros 's developing politico-philosophical project. In this completely updated and expanded volume, Mészáros examines the manifold aspects of Sartre's legacy—as novelist, playwright, philosopher, and political actor—and in so doing casts light upon the enture oeuvre, situating it within the historical and social context of Sartre's time. Although critical of aspects of Sartre's philosophy, Mészáros celebrates his unyielding commitment to the struggle against the power of capital, and elucidates what this means for the individual in their search for freedom.

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Long winded run on sentences that belie proper analysis make the book too difficult for most readers. Meszaros is a Marxist who claims to champion the working class whilst writing in a manner that ensures they are kept out of his work. Because of this the book goes into the dustbin of history with the rest of his excluding trash books. 

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A very difficult but in depth analysis of Sartre's oeuvre. The author not only describes Sartre's theories but demonstrates how their contradictions led to the movement from an early emphasis on the individual towards Marxism. This being a way of overcoming these contradictions whilst retaining the rich kernel of truth they contained. 

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About the author (2012)

István Mészáros is a world-renowned philosopher and critic. He left his native Hungary after the Soviet invasion of 1956. He is professor emeritus at the University of Sussex, where he held the chair of philosophy for fifteen years. Meszaros is author of The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time, Beyond Capital, The Power of Ideology, The Work of Sartre, and Marx’s Theory of Alienation.

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