As a philosopher, Georg Lukacs demanded totality; as a personality, he seems to defy it. If his reputation—on both sides of the Danube—has fluctuated over the years, it may be because no one quite knows which Lukacs to assimilate. Is he the revolutionary of 1919? The "romantic anti-capitalist" of 1923 (a current Western favorite)? The Stalinist "hack" of the 1930s? The vitriolic Cold Warrior? The Freedom Fighter of 1956? Or the "mellow" Marxist-Humanist of the late '60s? Considering this capacity for historical intervention and personal survival, the least one can say is that Lukacs was the most successful Marxist intellectual of the 20th century….
Whatever was Lukacs's subjective experience of...
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