History, Labour, and Freedom

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History, Labour, and Freedom: Themes from Marx
History, Labour, and Freedom.jpg
Author Gerald Cohen
Language English
Subject Political philosophy
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 336
ISBN 978-0198247791

History, Labour, and Freedom: Themes from Marx is a 1988 book by the philosopher Gerald Cohen.


History, Labour, and Freedom is a revision and expansion of Cohen's earlier Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (1978).[1] The work reprints several papers that argue against the idea that libertarianism advances freedom.[2]


Mainstream media[edit]

History, Labour, and Freedom was reviewed by the political scientist David McLellan in The Times Literary Supplement.[3]

Academic journals[edit]

History, Labour, and Freedom received a positive review from McLellan in Political Studies.[4] The book was also reviewed by William H. Shaw in Inquiry,[5] Daniel Little in Political Theory,[6] and Andrew Levine in The Journal of Philosophy.[7]

McLellan credited Cohen with "lucidity and sharpness of argument", and with offering important reformulations of the theory of historical revisionism put forward in Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (1978). He considered Cohen's "discussion of the strength of nonmaterial cultural elements such as religion and nationalism" particularly interesting, and found Cohen's discussion of the questions of how capitalism should be overcome, what form socialist society should take, and "the practical implications of the changing nature of the working class" to be "stimulating and relevant".[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ McLellan 1995, p. 440.
  2. ^ Wolff 1991, p. 154.
  3. ^ McLellan 1989, p. 809.
  4. ^ a b McLellan 1990, p. 756.
  5. ^ Shaw 1989, pp. 437–453.
  6. ^ Little 1990, pp. 312–315.
  7. ^ Levine 1991, pp. 267–275.


  • Levine, Andrew (1991). "History, Labour and Freedom: Themes from Marx". The Journal of Philosophy. 88 (5).  – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
  • Little, Daniel (1990). "History, labour, and freedom (Book Review)". Political Theory. 18.  – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
  • McLellan, David (1989). "Material differences". The Times Literary Supplement (4503).  – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
  • McLellan, David (1990). "History, Labour and Freedom: Themes from Marx (Book)". Political Studies. 38 (4).  – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
  • Shaw, William H. (1989). "History, labour, and freedom (Book Review)". Inquiry. 32.  – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)