Norman Geras

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Norman Geras (25 August 1943 – 18 October 2013)[1] was a political theorist and Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Manchester. He contributed to an analysis of the works of Karl Marx in his book Marx and Human Nature[2][3][4] and the article "The Controversy About Marx and Justice". His 'Seven Types of Obloquy: Travesties of Marxism', appeared in the Socialist Register in 1990.

Early life and academic career[edit]

Geras was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, to a Jewish family.[5] Arriving in the UK in 1962,[6] he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Pembroke College, Oxford and graduated in 1965. He was a research student from 1965 to 1967 at Nuffield College, Oxford before joining the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in 1967. Connected with the Trotskyist International Marxist Group at the time of writing his study of Rosa Luxemburg's political thought, The Times obituarist wrote of Geras' aim for the book: "He set out to defend (as he would then have seen it) Luxemburg’s Marxist orthodoxy. It may seem perverse to Geras’s later admirers across the political divide that he would then have regarded this as a point in Luxemburg’s favour, but the quality of his scholarship was undeniable. He showed that Luxemburg had largely shared Lenin’s own pre-1917 analysis of the revolutionaries’ task".[7]

Geras was on the editorial board of New Left Review from 1976 to 1992, and then on the editorial board of Socialist Register from 1995 to 2003.[8] After retiring as a Professor in 2003, he wrote a blog,[9] which focused on political issues, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which he supported, his academic interests, and a range of other topics, including popular music, cricket and films. In 2006 he was one of the principal authors of the Euston Manifesto.

Private life[edit]

He married the children's writer Adèle Geras (born Jerusalem, 1944) in 1967.[10] One of their two daughters is Sophie Hannah,[11] the poet and author.



  1. ^ Norman Geras: 1943-2013, normblog
  2. ^ Kovel, Joel (1991). History and Spirit: An Inquiry into the Philosophy of Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 255. ISBN 0-8070-2916-5. 
  3. ^ McLellan, David (1995). The Thought of Karl Marx: An Introduction. London: Papermac. p. 267. ISBN 0-333-63948-0. 
  4. ^ Eagleton, Terry (2012). Why Marx Was Right. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-300-18153-1. 
  5. ^ Ben Cohen "Norman Geras: 1943-2013", The Tablet, 18 October 2013
  6. ^ 2 Aug 2010 (2010-08-02). "Norman Geras on Twitter: "On the normblog tweets calendar it's now 1962. I have just arrived in England, a fresh-faced lad from Bulawayo."". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Professor Norman Geras". The Times. London. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2016.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ "normblog: About". 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  9. ^ "normblog". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  10. ^ 2 Aug 2010 (2010-08-02). "Norman Geras on Twitter: "Jeez, my life is rushing by. It's 1966 turning into 1967. In August of the latter year Adele and I got married and we came to Manchester."". Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  11. ^ Haroon Siddique "Pioneering blogger Norman Geras dies of prostate cancer aged 70",, 18 October 2013

External links[edit]