Books for changing the world
A Dialectical Pedagogy of Revolt
Gramsci, Vygotsky, and the Egyptian Revolution
In 2011 observers from every corner of the globe were inspired as thousands of Egyptians poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and brought down a regime that only weeks before seemed unshakable. Yet, as the dust kicked up by the revolution has settled, both the immediate and lasting impacts of the movement remain hotly contested.

In A Dialectical Pedagogy of Revolt, Brecht De Smet takes on this question by offering an intellectual dialogue between the political theory of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and the cultural psychology of Soviet thinker Lev Vygotsky. De Smet convincingly argues that their encounter in the context of the January 25th Revolution affirms the enduring need for a coherent theory of the revolutionary subject in the era of global capitalism—a theory that must be based on a political pedagogy of subaltern hegemony, solidarity, and reciprocal education.

From this perspective the political and economic lineages and outcomes of the mass uprising, and the emancipatory achievements and hegemonic failures of the Egyptian workers’ and democratic movements can be explained in terms of their (in)ability to construct a genuine dialectical pedagogy.