Ernest Mandel - A Rebel's Dream Deferred
London: Verso, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84467-316-2, 600 pp.
Ernest Mandel (1923Ė1995), was one of the most prominent anti-Stalinist Marxist intellectuals of his time. A political theorist and an economist, he was a brilliant orator in several languages. He had a massive impact on the thought and practice of the 1968 generation. His writings, ranging from innovative economic and political theory to a study of the Second World War, were published in over forty languages.
His last major work, Late Capitalism, had an influence that stretched into disciplines as far afield as cultural studies. From the age of sixteen Mandel became an indefatigible revolutionary militant and then a key leader of the Fourth International, founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938. Many of his family members died in Nazi concentration camps, but Mandel remained firmly aloof from any form of Zionism.
Biographer Jan Willem Stutje, the first writer with access to Mandelís archives, has interviewed many of the leading figures in the story and unearthed a wealth of new material, ranging from Mandelís two escapes from the Nazis to his role in Latin American guerrilla warfare. He recounts Mandelís interactions with both scholars ó Sartre, Ernst Bloch, Perry Anderson ó and comrades in arms such as Che Guevara, Rudi Dutschke and Tariq Ali. The book also yields fascinating details of the manís sometimes tragic private life.