Gramsci saw society as composed of a small but powerful political center and a large body of emarginati -- marginalized people at the periphery of society, who are denied access to traditional positions of power. That vision led Gramsci to concentrate on the significance of the "common man" as he developed his theory Of the political organization of society, The persistent theme in Gramsci's work is how the ordinary man thinks, feels, and endures, and how the course of political institutions is shaped by the efforts of the marginalized to erode the boundaries of the center. Gramsci's approach is perhaps best expressed as a reunion of philosophy and experience and revaluation of the quotidian.
Gramsci's new politics of inclusion anticipated by well over a half-century the recent epoch-making developments in the USSR and in Eastern Europe. His anti-authoritarian leadership style as secretary of the Italian Communist party in the 1920s prefigured Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost. Gramsci's insistence on the international Communist movement's openness to new social formations at the grass roots is supremely relevant to developments in Romania, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Poland, where forces hitherto kept at the margins of political life by ossified Communist-party structures have burst on the scene with unprecedented vitality.
Germino's compelling study ofGramsci's personal life and intellectual development offers fresh insights into Gramsci's work that will be of interest to all students of cultural and political theory, of particular interest is bas extensive consideration of the preprison writings both in their own right and for the light
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