Why Read Marx Today? / Edition 1

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In this book Jonathan Wolff 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. He also shows that the value of the 'great thinkers' does not depend on the truth of their grand theories, but also 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An engaging read. The author...is a particularly skillful elucidator of political philosophy. In his book, he argues that Marx was misunderstood and that the great man was right about far more than he is given credit for."--The Economist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192805058
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/30/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy at University College London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Early Writings 13
2 Class, History, and Capital 48
3 Assessment 100
Guide to references and further reading 127
Index 131
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2004

    Why Read Marx Today? We still don't know

    'Why Read Marx Today' is an excellent supplement to David McLellan's 'Karl Marx: Selected Writings' for two reasons. First, Wolff outlines Marx's complex theories in an understandable easily readable manner. Secondly, Wolff quotes extensively from David McLellan's book offering the reader the opportunity for an in depth analysis to form a logical assessment possibly contrary to Wolff's. <p>Unfortunately alone the book falls flat. Wolff fails to capture the passion of Marx, identify strengths in Marxist theory or, as the reader will inevitably discover, provide any reasons that Marx should be read today. Wolff outlines several reasons,perceived and unsupported by the writer, why Marx theories are misguided but fails to recognize positive aspects of Marxist theory. If you expect an answer from Wolff as to 'Why Read Marx Today' prepare to be disappointed. <P>In the end, Wolff's 'Why Read Marx Today?' is unenlightening, lacks concrete logical analysis and clarity. If there was a main point, it has yet to be found.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2004

    Readable and explanatory.

    I keep thinking that now that the 'evil empire' has ceased we can now have a more civilized discussion of Marxism. Jonathan Wolff does just this, a rational examination for the general reader. Frederick Engels at the graveside of Marx (1883) says that Marx made two discoveries: 1. historical materialism. 2. theory of surplus value. and then he explains this very nicely.

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