London: Merlin Press, 1962. First edition. Inscribed. In original dust-jacket. 361, (1) p. In fine condition. / In fine condition. Chipped at edges.
George (György, Georg) Lukács (1885–1971) was a Marxists political thinker, aesthete, university teacher, politician, literary critic, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Lukács was among the most important and most influential philosophers of the era, the founder of the tradition of Western Marxism. He studied in Budapest, Berlin where he made acquaintance with Georg Simmel, in Heidelberg where he became friends with Max Weber, Ernst Bloch and Stefan George. He was actively involved in the Communist movement and became People’s Commissar for Education and Culture (deputy to the Commissar for Education) and the political commissar of the Hungarian Red Army during the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. After the fall of the régime he was arrested in Vienna and only the intervene of Western writers saved him from extradition. Among these authors were Heinrich and Thomas Mann who later based Naphta’s character in “The Magic Mountain” on Lukács. In 1923, during the exile in Vienna his first major work “Geschichte und Klassen-bewusstsein” (History of Class Consciousness) was published by Malik Verlag. Lukács lived in Berlin in the early 1930’s than he moved to the Soviet Union in 1933 and stayed there until the end of Second World War when he moved back to Budapest, to establish the new Hungarian government as member of the Hungarian Communist Party. He had major role in the removal of independent and non-communist intellectuals from all positions. During the Revolution in 1956 he served as minister in the revolutionary government of Imre Nagy which opposed the Soviet Union. After the revolution he was not allowed to publish in Hungary until 1964. Lukács’s major works are History and Class Consciousness which is considered as the base of Western Marxism, and The Historical Novel in which he defines the genre of historical fiction and traces its development.