Review: “Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes” (Paperback)

By L. S. Vygotsky (???Author???), Michael Cole (Editor), Vera John-Steiner (Editor), Sylvia Scribner (Editor), Ellen Souberman (Editor)

Revisionist Vygotsky – Save your money!  

 January 4, 2009 – This reissue of a 1978 reprint is supposedly a collection of Russian psychologist Vygotsky’s essays (he died in 1934) as translated from the Russian by A.R. Luria, one of his students.
The “editors” claim that after a cursory study of Luria’s translations “we came to believe that the image of Vygotsky as a sort of early neobehaviorist of cognitive development – an impression held by many of our colleagues- was strongly belied by these two works.”

Nice. A cursory study is able to strong belie widely held impressions that are based on decades of studying Vygotsky’s own 1934 book Thought and Language, among his other works. One has to wonder at the degree to which revisionism is taking place when the editors state in the preface:

“In putting separate essays together we have taken significant liberties. The reader will encounter here not a literal translation of Vygotsky but rather our edited translation of Vygotsky from which we have omitted material that seemed redundant and to which we have added material that seemed to make his points clearer.”

Hmmmm. Will the real Vygotsky please stand up!
Save your money and first get Kozulin’s version of “Thought and Language.” One must question the amount of trustworthy scholarship in “Mind in Society.”

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