Luise Kautsky: The ‘Forgotten Soul’ of the Socialist Movement

Historical Materialism 28 (3):113-137 (2020)
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Abstract

This article draws on archival research to recover the legacy of Luise Kautsky – journalist, editor, translator, politician and wife of Karl Kautsky – who has been overlooked as a leading member of the socialist movement. First, by adopting a feminist historical lens to reveal the unacknowledged intellectual labour of women, the article reassesses Luise Kautsky’s relationship to Karl Kautsky and his writings. The evidence suggests that Luise Kautsky was essential to the development, editing and dissemination of the work of Karl Kautsky. Second, the article claims Luise Kautsky played an invaluable practical role as the hub of an international network of socialist scholars and activists, acting as mediator, translator and middle point through her extensive correspondence and by hosting members of this network at her house. Finally, the article recovers her labour as a writer, editor and translator and calls for renewed attention to her as an independent figure of historical analysis.

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