1. Historical and systematic introduction by the editors, 2. Boris Hessen, "The Social and Economic Roots of Newton's Mechanics" , 3. Henryk Grossmann, "The Social Foundation of Mechanistic Philosophy and Manufacture" . 4. Henryk Grossmann: Descartes New Ideal of Science. Universal Science vs. Science of an Elite, 5. Henryk Grossmann, book review (1938) and a letter to Max Horkheimer (1935), 6. A short biography of Henryk Grossmann (by Rick Kuhn, Canberra), 7. Hessen in lieu of biography
The texts of Boris Hessen and Henryk Grossmann assembled in this volume are important contributions to the historiography of the Scienti?c Revolution and to the methodology of the historiography of science. They are of course also historical documents, not only testifying to Marxist discourse of the time but also illustrating typical European fates in the ?rst half of the twentieth century. Hessen was born a Jewish subject of the Russian Czar in the Ukraine, participated in the October Revolution and was executed in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the purges. Grossmann was born a Jewish subject of the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser in Poland and served as an Austrian of?cer in the First World War; afterwards he was forced to return to Poland and then because of his revolutionary political activities to emigrate to Germany; with the rise to power of the Nazis he had to ?ee to France and then Americawhilehisfamily,whichremainedinEurope,perishedinNaziconcentration camps. Our own acquaintance with the work of these two authors is also indebted to historical context (under incomparably more fortunate circumstances): the revival of Marxist scholarship in Europe in the wake of the student movement and the p- fessionalization of history of science on the Continent. We hope that under the again very different conditions of the early twenty-?rst century these texts will contribute to the further development of a philosophically informed socio-historical approach to the study of science.
Assembles the classics of Marxist historiography of Science
First publication of a book by Grossman; New and reliable translation of Hessen
Provides an introduction in depth to their theories
Outlines the historical context of these theories and their biased anti-Marxist reception