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Capital : A Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics) (Volume 2) Paperback – March 1, 1993


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Capital : A Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics) (Volume 2) + Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 3 (Penguin Classics) + Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (March 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140445692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140445695
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany and studied in Bonn and Berlin. Influenced by Hegel, he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his own theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. Together with Engels, who he met in Paris, he wrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party. He lived in England as a refugee until his death in 1888, after participating in an unsuccessful revolution in Germany. Ernst Mandel was a member of the Belgian TUV from 1954 to 1963 and was chosen for the annual Alfred Marshall Lectures by Cambridge University in 1978. He died in 1995 and the Guardian described him as 'one of the most creative and independent-minded revolutionary Marxist thinkers of the post-war world.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gabe Serafini on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate how some of the other people reviewing the volumes of Das Kapital fail to see that at least in this book, Marx wasn't advocating anything. It was his analysis of the fundamental features of capitalism. This book deals with the cell of capitalism: the commodity. This book is simply Marx's analysis of how the labor in the production of commodities becomes the commodity itself (commodity fetishism). He identifies the three circuits of capital required to produce commodities in a capitalist society: money capital, productive capital, and commodity capital. The third chapter I found to be very interesting because in this chapter Marx identifies two forms of consumption, these being productive consumption and personal consumption. This created the circular flow of money to becoming either money capital or productive capital. Highly recommended for anyone looking to understand how societies function and how capitalism really works.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CB on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Capital I, this is not. Although, it's difficult being tough on this book, as Marx never finished it, and it's mostly a compilation of manuscripts in the order Engels thought most prudent. Overall, Vol II lacks the literary, political, and polemical flare of Vol I. Therefore, it's not as engaging as Vol I. But, there are still pockets of ingenuity, like Vol I, found within it. Although the book is 300 pages less than Vol I, it takes longer to read, and the algebra is frequent, repetitive, and seemingly unnecessary at times. But, Ernest Mandel in the introduction (which, like most Mandel's writing, is laudable), forewarns the reader that he/she must read Vol II to fully understand Vol III. But, the translator warns the reader that Vol II has little bits of oasis, in between lots of arid desert. Reading this book then proves difficult, as we need the oasis to grasp Vol III, but trekking through the arid desert, as I just did, leaves one seeing mirages, and gasping for a drink. I may have even killed a man along the way, but that's another story....

In Vol I, Marx left us with his famous formula M-C-M'. The Capitalist, as Capital personified, enters the world as M (money), buys a commodity, and sells it dearer (M'). We find out in Vol I, that for overall economic growth, this commodity must be labor power. In Vol II Marx expands upon the circulation of capital, and gives us a better definition of what Capital is. The Forumla now expands to:

MP
/
M-C......P....C'-M'
\
LP
(amazon will not let me properly show this formula, so pretend the slashes connecting MP and LP to M are really connecting LP and MP to C).

The capitalist shows up with money, buys means of production and labor power, then the act of production occurs (P), and the "....
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Guy Denutte on February 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
The most important point made in this volume is : "The production process appears simply as an unavoidable middle term, a necessary evil for the purpose of money-making." In his time, Marx could not have foreseen how this reality would transform our world beyond all imagination, once the current phase of mass consumption on a global scale was reached. Most objects capitalism offer today are objects with little usefulness, but are so thoroughly pushed by publicity and social conformism that they seem to fulfill vital necessities of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ayala-Aponte on September 22, 2013
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The length of the book might be a set back for some people like it was for me, but once you get into it you will find yourself pleased with the depth of understanding that Marx presents.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A bookworm on December 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Let's see: the cover shows a book about Mozart, the title says it's Capital, Volume 1 and the actual text (judging by the sample chapter I downloaded) is Capital, Vol. II. Ah, what possible difference could a volume number make?

If you expect people to pay $15 for the Penguin imprimatur, you'd better make sure you have the basics (and then some) right. This book doesn't.

Avoid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Guevara on December 6, 2013
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After reading "Das Kapital Volume I", I had to continue reading this awesome analysis! To begin, this is NOT a read based on dogmatic views of communism like Marx's Communist Manifesto. The Capital Volumes are actually based on a more scientific basis regarding the inter workings of a capitalist economy. In this volume, Marx describes a detailed analysis of the buyer and seller and how they are to be found (within the marketplace). Unlike Capital I, this book is much shorter and easier to follow. But be warned, the terminology is quite old, so I HIGHLY suggest taking time while reading.

If one is looking to understand true Marxism, then please read the whole Capital series. I found it easier to read the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith before tackling these volumes. It will provide an easier roadmap and critique of capitalism before venturing into other realms of communist theory. Overall, five stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Matos on May 28, 2013
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Really complete edition you can have a great understanding of the dynamics of markets and the main economic principles of modern age
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Flora Cosmos on May 9, 2013
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If you want to get rid of capitalism, you have to understand it, so study all 3 volumes of Capital as well as his other writings!
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