Antonio Gramsci

Buy hardcover (Brill) haymarket-imageBuy softcover (Haymarket)
Published Oct 2016
ISBN: 9789004326293

Towards an Intellectual Biography

Alastair Davidson, Monash University, Australia

Many large Italian cities have a main thoroughfare ‘via Gramsci’, showing that the Communist leader has become part of Italy’s ‘national patrimony’, while internationally, the interest in Gramsci’s writings is second to none.
As a consequence of this fame, Gramsci’s heritage is claimed by rival groups: on the one hand by those who hope to establish his writings as ‘sacred texts’ for their own policies and on the other by those who stress any differences with Lenin in order to prove Gramsci a ‘rebel’.
A great merit of this biography is that it lifts the study of Gramsci away from the sterile debate about whether he was or was not a Leninist; another achievement of the author has been to integrate the circumstances of Gramsci’s life – the childhood in Sardinia, the politics of the left in the 1920s, the years of exile and prison – with his developing political and philosophical ideas.

Biographical note

Alastair Davidson, Ph.D. (1966), Australian National University, is Professor Emeritus in Politics at Monash University. He has spent much of his life in Italy and explored the Sardinian background in some detail, as well as researched at the Gramsci Institute in Rome. He is the author of twenty books and hundreds of articles including The Theory and Practice of Italian Communism (Merlin Press, 1982); with Steve Wright eds., ‘Never Give In’ The Italian Resistance and Politics (Peter Lang, 1998); The Immutable Laws of Mankind: The Struggle for Universal Human Rights (Springer, 2012); Migration in the Age of Genocide: Law, Forgiveness and Revenge (Springer, 2015).


All interested in the life and thought of Antonio Gramsci, such as Gramsci scholars, postgraduate and undergraduate students in social and political philosophy, history, history of ideas. Educated laypersons and political activists. Institutes, academic libraries, public libraries.

Table of contents

Author’s Preface for the New Edition

Preface, by Norberto Bobbio


1 A Country Boy
2 Making the Country Boy an Italian
3 A Philosophy of Praxis
4 ‘…an International Figure?’
5 A Revolutionary Theory