'Men make history, but . . . they do not make it in the circumstances chosen by themselves' (Marx). Making History is about the question, central to social theory, of how human beings and their 'circumstances' – above all social structures – are related. Drawing on classical Marxism, analytical philosophy, and recent historical writing, it seeks to avoid two unacceptable extremes – that of dissolving human subjects into social structures (for example, post-structuralism), and that of individual action, as many of the new school of 'analytical Marxists' do.
Among those discussed are Althusser, Anderson, Cohen, Elster, Foucault, Giddens and Habermas. Alex Callinicos elaborates his account of social structure and human agency by considering recent developments in historical sociology, notably the work of Brenner and Mann, and by offering an extended commentary on Walter Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History.
Making History will be welcomed by students in social and political theory, sociology, politics and Marxist theory.