On December 29, 1918, the Spartakus League, a Marxist revolutionary movement, rose up in Germany calling for an end to class rule by the bourgeoisie. Massive demonstrations followed and more than 500,000 Berliners took to the streets in January--only to be crushed by police and anticommunist paramilitary troops. Several leaders of the League were killed and the revolt was quashed.
Through a detailed reconstruction of the events of that bloody winter, historian and critic Furio Jesi recasts our understanding of a foundational political difference--revolt or revolution? Drawing on a deep reserve of literary sources like Brecht, Eliade, Dostoyevsky, and Mann, Jesi outlines a uniquely incisive phenomenology of revolt that distinguishes between the purposeful historical temporality of revolution and the suspension of time that marks a revolt. And with the addition of an essay on the politics of time and revolution by Rosa Luxemburg, a founding leader of the Spartakus League, this volume becomes a crucial text at the intersection of history and philosophy.