The Hungarian social philosopher and literary critic Georg Lukács (1885-1971) is one of the seminal intellectual figures of the twentieth century. With the possible exception of Leon Trotsky, he is also widely recognized as the outstanding Marxist thinker aside from Marx himself. Yet, as Lewis Coser has observed, Lukács has remained the most enigmatic figure of the modern communist movement. Why were his theories so important to modern political and social thought? How did he come to have such influence on so many distinguished Western Intellectuals, and for such a long time? And why, despite this, did so many of his writings infuriate contemporary readers and critics?The centenary of Lukács birth was celebrated in 1985 with symposia in a number of countries on several continents. Hundreds of Lukács scholars and students attended, along with others who were interested in his time and his ideas, as well as the man and his work. In the process, new understanding of some of his most controversial concepts, ideas, and theses emerged. Newly discovered information and writings, as well as previously unknown preocupations in his seventy-year intellectual career were shared. This volume brings together some of the best and most original of the essays of participants in New York, Paris, Budapest, and Mexico City.Some of the contributions in this volume are sharply critical of Lukács; others are clearly admiring. A great many take an objective but severe look at diverse aspects of his work. Together they constitute a close examination of the life work of the man Thomas Mann once called "The most important literary critic of today," Jean-Paul Sartre hailed as a significant modern philosopher," and Irving Howe declared "a major force in European intellectual life." Collectively, this volume shows why Georg Lukács remains one of the remarkable intellectual figures of the twentieth century, whose work is of enduring significance for us today.