Difference between revisions of "Reading guide"

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Introduction to Marxism

This book is widely popular in Marxist study groups, and is used widely in German universities whose country this was first published in. The author systematically covers all three volumes of Capital and explains all the basic aspects of Marx's critique of capitalism in a way that is clear and concise. He provides background information on the intellectual and political milieu in which Marx worked, and looks at crucial issues beyond the scope of Capital, such as class struggle, the relationship between capital and the state, accusations of historical determinism, and Marx's understanding of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the monetary character of Marx's work, in addition to the traditional emphasis on the labor theory of value, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of financial explosions and implosions.

  • Marx's Capital Illustrated by David N. Smith
  • Marx's Das Kapital for Beginners by Michael Wayne

Marx’s Das Kapital For Beginners is an introduction to the Marxist critique of capitalist production and its consequences for a whole range of social activities such as politics, media, education and religion. Das Kapital is not a critique of a particular capitalist system in a particular country at a particular time, but rather its aim was to identify the essential features that define capitalism, in whatever country it develops and in whatever historical period. For this reason, Das Kapital is necessarily a fairly general, abstract analysis. As a result, it can be fairly difficult to read and comprehend. At the same time, understanding Das Kapital is crucial for mastering Marx's insights to capitalism. Marx's Das Kapital For Beginners offers an accessible path through Marx's arguments and his key questions: What is commodity? Where does wealth come from? What is value? What happens to work under capitalism? Why is crisis part of capitalism's DNA? And what happens to our consciousness, our very perceptions of reality and our ways of thinking and feeling under capitalism?

This book seeks to explain Capital, Volume I and is based on Harvey's lectures from right before the book's writing, giving original and sometimes critical interpretations of Capital. Note that while Harvey's reading guide has helped some people get into reading Capital, Harvey has a tendency to skip over or misrepresent many of Marx's key arguments. This review of the reading guide is recommended. See also Harvey's introduction to Chapter 1: https://libcom.org/library/companion-marxs-capital. There's also a book for the second volume.

  • Marx for Beginners by Rius

A cartoon book summarizing the works of Karl Marx: the origins of Marxist philosophy, history, and economics; capital, labor, class struggle, as well as socialism.

Peter Singer identifies the central vision that unifies Marx's thought, enabling us to grasp Marx's views as a whole. He sees him as a philosopher primarily concerned with human freedom, rather than as an economist or a social scientist. In plain English, he explains alienation, historical materialism, the economic theory of Capital, and Marx's ideas of communism, and concludes with an assessment of Marx's legacy.

See also