on October 15, 1999
While it is true that Marx may be one of the harder theorists to understand, this book didn't really give me a better understanding of anything. If you want a good amount of straight Marx text, this is the book for you. If you want to understand Marx and learn about his work, I suggest looking into the introductory texts of George Ritzer. He does a MUCH better job a getting Marx across to the reader than anything in this book.
on December 15, 2004
In reference to Charles' review, I've read both this book and Ritzer's words on Marx. Charles is definitely correct that Ritzer is easier to understand than the Elster edit, but I think the two complement each other.
19th century German academic translations aren't going to be an easy read, however, what Marx said is essentially here. I wouldn't do as I did and try to read the whole text straight though, but it's an excellent text for linking Marx's words to the specific topics he addresses.
The four stars is based on what the text is supposed to be, which is certainly not a contemporary synopsis of Marx's work.