London, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, (1951). 8vo. Orig. full cloth in orig. dust jacket. A bit of wear to bottom of front board and lower capital. Internally fine. XXIV,384,16 pp.
First English edition. Published in the series 'The International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction'.
The manuscript of this posthumous work by the important sociologist Karl Mannheim (1893-1947) was so elaborated that is was possible to publish after some editorial work, mainly conducted by Hans Gerth and Ernest K. Bramstedt, but also by Anges Schwarzchild and Adolph Lowe, and by Mannheim's wife, Julia Mannheim. Due to this editorial work, we can see that Mannheim's work does not end with the much discussed 'Ideology and Utopia', published in English in 1936 and now a classic in sociology, but is carried on in a book that proposes, for the first time - long before Anthony Giddens and Tony Blair, the concept of the Third Way, which makes this work a milestone also in political theory. As Mannheim himself writes in his Preface:
"This is a book on the principles of a society that is planned yet democratic - a society strictly organized in some of its basic spheres yet providing all the more freedom where freedom is essential. We propose to plan for freedom; therefore we endeavor to define its content and find the way that leads to it.
This is a book dealing with the shape of society beyond Laissez-Faire or total Regimentation on the one hand, and beyond the alternatives of Fascism and Communism on the other: it proposes a Third Way incorporating the painful experiences of the last decades into a new pattern of Democracy. We set out to show a way through reform and peaceful change, but a way that will demand serious sacrifices form all. Planning the transition needs to be as decisive as mapping out a distant future".