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Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy (Skeptical Reader) [Kindle Edition]

Karl Marx , Friedrich Engels , Serge L. Levitsky
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Das Kapital, Karl Marx's seminal work, is the book that above all others formed the twentieth century. From Kapital sprung the economic and political systems that at one time dominated half the earth and for nearly a century kept the world on the brink of war. Even today, more than one billion Chinese citizens live under a regime that proclaims fealty to Marxist ideology. Yet this important tome has been passed over by many readers frustrated by Marx’s difficult style and his preoccupation with nineteenth-century events of little relevance to today's reader.

Here Serge Levitsky presents a revised version of Kapital, abridged to emphasize the political and philosophical core of Marx’s work while trimming away much that is now unimportant. Pointing out Marx’s many erroneous predictions about the development of capitalism, Levitsky's introduction nevertheless argues for Kapital's relevance as a prime example of a philosophy of economic determinism that "subordinates the problems of human freedom and human dignity to the issues of who should own the means of production and how wealth should be distributed."

Here then is a fresh and highly readable version of a work whose ideas provided inspiration for communist regimes' ideological war against capitalism, a struggle that helped to shape the world today.

Product Details

  • File Size: 566 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 089526711X
  • Publisher: Gateway Editions; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007KP788K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,134 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should not be abridged. January 14, 2001
I began reading "Capital" in 1982, and having begun from scratch to read Book One, with the famous Hegelian section on the nature of the commodity as the standard form of social wealth in capitalism - a section skipped by most Anglo-Saxon abridgers, who tend to treat Marx as only a "post-Ricardian", in Samuelson's (in)famous dictum - I should say that I fear any kind of abridgment done to this work.In my view, all abridgments tend to create a more palatable view of the work abridged, therefore skipping the most intersting and controversial passages. Better to read an abridgment than forswearing reading it altogether, but I would strongly recommend anyone interested in Marx to do as I've done and tackle the Penguin complete ed., not forgetting to begin with the huge and superb introductory essay by Ernest Mandel. It won't hurt you, as it will allow one to form his/her personal view. It may be somekind of snobbery from my part, given that I read such a difficult work in a translation not to my mother-language and aided by a lenghty commentary, but after so many years, I still think it paid.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible edition February 28, 2007
The Gateway Edition of Capital is a great example right-wing capitalist economists distorting Marx for their own purposes. The introduction has a pro-capitalist bias, and substantial portions of the work have been cut out from this edition.

If you want to read Capital, Volume I, get the Penguin or Vintage edition, which is unabridged and has extensive footnotes.
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73 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still many good points June 28, 2000
As a student in Economics, I always engage in comparative analysis of Economics. Marxian Economics is generally presented as an early critique of classial economy, and a "difficult" one too. As to difficulty, it is not that unconscionably incomprehensible! There are many apsects of Marxian Economics that make a lot of sense (to me). True, Marx is most likely to be appealing to workers and below subsistence income earners, just as much as classical and neoclasscial economics is most likely to appeal to capital owners and free "marketeers". Not to forget Keynes who will garner support from those who prefer reasonable state intervention! So every school of thought has its own target and appeal. In this book, you will find basic concepts of labour theory of value (what determines the value of a commodity); monetary theory (the evolution of money); the Theory of Surplus Value (what is profit and how does it come about - to Marx, profit represents that portion of icome/value "improperly" appropriated by capital owners instead of accruing to workers. Since workers are the sole producers of goods from scratch to end, they should benefit from all income, or at least from most of it, as per Marxian argument); and lastly, the mechanism of production. Trust me, if you read Marxism with an open mind (and not with a bias attitude of it being revolutionary, inefficient, dictatorial and a threat), you will realize it has a very interesting, unique and relatively realistic method of explaning inequality and exploitation generally! Relative poverty does not exist exclusively in poor or so called "third-world" countries, even in UK, for example, there are relatively poor people (who for example cannot afford private schooling), despite its strong economy. As much as Communism/Socilaism is history, the ideas are still alive and very much interesting! Read it to enhance your understanding of this renowned work by Karl Marx!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Levitsky's Trash-Job November 3, 2008
When I ordered this edition to replace my dog-eared original copy I didn't
realize I would be getting the Readers' Digest version(complete with matching ideology). The introduction was a Milton Friedman travesty done
by the same individual who edited this edition(and eliminated anything that might place his paradigm in question...and it is VERY questionable).
I would strongly recommend the unedited(uncensored) version. I think Charles H. Kerr publishing still has it. Caveat Emptor!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abridged September 2, 2009
By Sean
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
THIS IS AN ABRIDGED VERSION of Das Kaptial. It's cover is plastic-like and the entire thing comes off more like a toy than a book. I recommend getting a different one.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The highest point of classical political economy April 5, 2000
Marx's Kapital brings to climax the research programme of classical political economy by its throughgoing analysis of the contradictions inherent in capitalism. Marx's magnum opus shows capitalism to be a historically transitory system which arose from feudalism and which was to necessarily to give way to socialism. Marx set "understanding the laws of motion of capitalism" to be his task and he succeeded much better than many modern theorists.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not what I was looking for... February 1, 2010
I found myself, as we have endured a long and dismal recession, wondering just what exactly Marx had said about capitalism and what he didn't. Alas this is not the edition to find out. Published by Regnery, a noted right wing publishing house, this edition reminds me of the Monty Python routine about the Philosphy department of the University of Wallamaloo in Australia where the new professor is told that he can teach the ideas of the great socialist thinkers 'as long as you point out they were wrong". Which is what you told to think before reading this.

I'm not against abridgments per say - but in this case you really can't trust you're going to get an accurate feel of what Marx did say. It would be similar to reading a selection of the works of Martin Luther as edited by the head of the Roman Catholic Inquistion. The quote about removing details (i.e. the facts) that only Marx cared about raised a red flag in my mind.

The introdution features several standard right wing tropes, for example Marx wasn't really working class so his suport of them is not really authentic in a way I can't quite figure out. And as a bonus it features probbably the only postive sentances about the economic effects of Unions in the entire Regnery cataloge.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Torturous
This is the third work by Marx that I've read; The Communist Manifesto and The Eighteenth Brumaire previously. Read more
Published 9 months ago by K. Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars Misbegotten Mussar
Karl Marx would have made a great rabbi.
His "Das Kapital" should be judged an intriguing work in what we Jews call Mussar (translation: "ethics" and/or "rebuke"). Read more
Published on July 19, 2010 by Yaakov (James) Mosher
1.0 out of 5 stars Abridged? Not even read.
The editor of this volume claims that we must read Marx (and criticize him) because his philosophy is focused on who gets what economically, and ignores the 'spiritual' and human... Read more
Published on July 2, 2009 by Justin Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Marx
As a history teacher, it is always nice to get back into the text and re-discover what history is all about. Economic theory is somehting that has eluded me for a long time. Read more
Published on June 17, 2009 by Matthew D. Markstone
3.0 out of 5 stars Document that changed the world so much
It may not be easy to fully understand the rationale behind what has origially driven Karl Max to write "Das Kapital", but this very document has surely created the Cold War that... Read more
Published on March 2, 2009 by Sao Volak
3.0 out of 5 stars boring refunded
this book is boring. the language is too philosophical while some underlying points are arguably wrong. Read more
Published on January 12, 2008 by Barrier Options
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Marxist Economics meets Realpolitik.
I gave this book five stars,because it shows outright, that Marx had a layman's understanding of everyday economics. Read more
Published on September 20, 2006 by Magickal Merlin
1.0 out of 5 stars Das Rubbish
This proves the cynics who say that Groucho was always the funny one to be correct. Not only did I fail to laugh once at his dismal attempt at humour, I also failed to understand... Read more
Published on May 27, 2006 by Mr Alan Williamson
1.0 out of 5 stars BAH! Correction Please
"Karl Marx, years ago, gave a description of why this might be happening. He followed the most moral and meritocratic theory for wealth and value: an object is worth as much as the... Read more
Published on April 3, 2006 by Jeremy G. Snyder
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