Why Read Marx Today?

Paperback | August 9, 2004

byJonathan Wolff

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'All too often, Karl Marx has been regarded as a demon or a deity - or a busted flush. This fresh, provocative, and hugely enjoyable book explains why, for all his shortcomings, his critique of modern society remains forcefully relevant even in the twenty-first century.' Francis Wheen, author of Karl MarxIn recent years we could be forgiven for assuming that Marx has nothing left to say to us. Marxist regimes have failed miserably, and with them, it seemed, all reason to take Marx seriously. The fall of the Berlin Wall had enormous symbolic resonance: it was taken to be the fall of Marx as well asof Marxist politics and economics.This timely book argues that we can detach Marx the critic of current society from Marx the prophet of future society, and that he remains the most impressive critic we have of liberal, capitalist, bourgeois society. It also shows that the value of the 'great thinkers' does not depend on their viewsbeing true, but on other features such as their originality, insight, and systematic vision. On this account too Marx still richly deserves to be read.

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'All too often, Karl Marx has been regarded as a demon or a deity - or a busted flush. This fresh, provocative, and hugely enjoyable book explains why, for all his shortcomings, his critique of modern society remains forcefully relevant even in the twenty-first century.' Francis Wheen, author of...

Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy at University College London. His books include the successful An Introduction to Political Philosophy, OUP.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.39 inPublished:August 9, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192805053

ISBN - 13:9780192805058

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionMarx's Life and WorksThe Plan of This Book1: Early WritingsIntroductionReligionThe Philosophy of Historical MaterialismLabour and AlienationMoney and CreditLiberalismEmancipation2: Class, History, and CapitalClassHistoryThe Economics of CapitalismThe Transition to CommunismThe Nature of Communism3: AssessmentIntroductionEarly WritingsTheory of HistoryEconomicsCommunismHuman NatureConclusionGuide to References and Further ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

`In splendidly lucid prose, Jonathan Wolff explores the continuing appeal of Marx today. Deftly sifting the living from the dead in Marx's thought, Wolff shows how his criticisms of capitalism and liberalism have lost none of their urgency, even if his communist solutions prove unconvincing.'Professor Richard Bellamy, University of Reading