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You are invited to the launch of Neil Davidson’s new book:

How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?
(Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012)
Saturday 13 October 2012
The Radisson BLU Hotel, 80 High Street, the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH
The venue is a 5 minute walk from Waverley Station via Cockburn Street, Carrubbers Close or North Bridge (see link above). Parking is available on Blackfriars Street; there is disabled access.

The evening will begin at 7.00 in the Dunedin Room where Neil will give a talk on the themes raised by his book, followed by a discussion chaired by Professor Alex Law of Abertay University, Dundee. From around 8.30 guests will be invited to move downstairs to the St Giles Suite for canapés, a paying bar, music from DJ Wattrax and dancing until 1.00. For those whose musical tastes do not extend to funk, soul, disco, hip-hop and jazz, space will be available for quieter conversation and drinking outside the St Giles Suite. Bookmarks: the Socialist Bookshop will have stall open throughout the event.

Please feel free to bring partners, colleagues or comrades.

About the Book
Once of central importance to left historians and activists alike, recently the concept of the “bourgeois revolution” has come in for sustained criticism from both Marxists and conservatives. In this comprehensive rejoinder, Neil Davidson seeks to answer the question “how revolutionary were the bourgeois revolutions” by systematically examining the approach taken by a wide range of thinkers to explaining the causes, outcomes, and content of the French, English, Dutch, and other revolutions. Through far-reaching research and comprehensive analysis, Davidson demonstrates that what’s at stake is far from a stale issue for the history books–understanding these struggles of the past offer far reaching lessons for today’s radicals.
About the Author
Neil Davidson teaches sociology at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He is the author of The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (2000) and Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003), for which he was awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize and the Fletcher of Saltoun award. He has also co-edited and contributed to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Engagement with Marxism (2008) and Neoliberal Scotland (2010). He is on the Editorial Board of International Socialism.
“I was frankly pole-axed by this magnificent book. Davidson resets the entire debate on the character of revolutions: bourgeois, democratic and socialist. He’s sending me, at least, back to the library.” — Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
“What should our conception of a bourgeois revolution be, if it is to enlighten rather than to mislead? Neil Davidson’s instructive and provocative answer is given through a history both of a set of concepts and of those social settings in which they found application. His book is an impressive contribution both to the history of ideas and to political philosophy.” —Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue
“Neil Davidson wends his way through the jagged terrain of a wide range of Marxist writings and debates to distil their lessons in what is unquestionably the most thorough discussion of the subject to date. If the paradox at the heart of the bourgeois revolutions was that the emergence of the modern bourgeois state had little to do with the agency of the bourgeoisie, then Davidson’s study is by far the most nuanced and illuminating discussion of this complex fact. A brilliant and fascinating book, wide-ranging and lucidly written.” —Jairus Banaji, author of Theory as History
“[This] is a monumental work. Neil Davidson has given us what is easily the most comprehensive account yet of the ‘life and times’ of the concept of ‘bourgeois revolution’ … This would have been enough. However, Davidson has also provided us with a refined set of theoretical tools for understanding the often complex interactions between political revolutions which overturn state institutions and social revolutions which involve a more thorough-going transformation of social relations.” —Colin Moores, author of The Making of Bourgeois Europe


First published at:




‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:


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Alasdair MacIntyre will give a public lecture on Two Kinds of Political Reasoning

At 5pm on Monday 7th June, at 16 Goulston Street, London E1.

The lecture will be followed by discussion and a reception. Attendance is free. For details, click here. To book a place, please email

Professor MacIntyre will become Senior Research Fellow in CASEP, the Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics, at London Metropolitan University, on 1st July 2010. 

For details of CASEP, please visit:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Alasdair McIntyre