Twenty years after its debut, Fred Newman’s and Lois Holzman’s 1993 title, Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist, has been published by Psychology Press as a Classic Edition — i.e., among a series of psychology texts designed to present “fundamental ideas to a new generation.”
The book, which was translated into Portuguese in 2002, presents Vygotsky as a brilliant Marxist methodologist unique to his time—and remarkably relevant to ours. His ‘search for method’ as portrayed by Newman and Holzman challenges the foundations of traditional psychology and its conceptions of human development and learning.
In her introduction to the Classic Edition, Holzman locates Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist in “the global swirl of activity” that in just 20 years has taken Vygotsky from relative obscurity to a broad recognition across a range of academic and practice disciplines:
Unlike in 1993, it’s safe to say that today Vygotsky has at least name recognition in all areas of education, the social sciences and the humanities. Interest in Vygotskian ideas has dramatically increased among scholars and researchers in areas of psychology…education…and afterschool and informal learning. Among practitioners, too, there is a thirst for the reenergizing that Vygotsky’s approach bring….The amount of published works by Vygotsky has more than doubled…the number of books about Vygotsky has also greatly increased.. Since 1993, forty-two English-language books with Vygotsky in the title are available from Amazon.
As a player in this global swirl of activity, I am grateful to have the opportunity to examine anew Newman’s and my book, the ideas it presents, the practices that inspired it, and speculate on its current relevance in the very changed political landscape of the second decade of the 21st century.