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Jairus Banaji awarded the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize

Sunday 20 November 2011

Acclaimed historian and insurgent scholar Jairus Banaji’s 2010 book Theory as history wins the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize

see also: www.deutscherprize.org.uk/

Theory as History
- Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation

Jairus Banaji

The essays collected here straddle four decades of work in both historiography and Marxist theory, combining source-based historical work in a wide range of languages with sophisticated discussion of Marx’s categories. Key themes include the distinctions that are crucial to restoring complexity to the Marxist notion of a ’mode of production’; the emergence of medieval relations of production; the origins of capitalism; the dichotomy between free and unfree labour; and essays in agrarian history that range widely from Byzantine Egypt to 19th-century colonialism. The essays demonstrate the importance of reintegrating theory with history and of bringing history back into historical materialism. An introductory chapter ties the collection together and shows how historical materialists can develop an alternative to Marx’s ’Asiatic mode of production’.

E.J. Brill

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