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Marxism: Philosophy and economics Paperback – 1985
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Especially interesting is Sowell's treatment of Marx the man. As the final part of the book, Sowell put's Marx's ideas in context with the man. This is in stark contrast to most of the book's in the field either treating Marx's personal life as that of an uncannonized saint(mostly), or as an unspeakable monster.
In pure character of book, one can do no better.
Dr. Sowell's acheivement is nothing less than a concise, accesible, and above all accurate explanation of the Marxist system. Criticisms that accuse Dr. Sowell of using complex language criticise him for using philosophical technical terms employed by Marx that are crucial to actually understanding Marx's philosophy. I personally found the reading the easiest of any book presenting a summation of Marxism.
Any criticism of the book should be focused on Sowell's brief critique of Marxism, and then merely for the fact that it includes the real-life results of putative "Marxism" (however divorced those policies may be from Marx's actual philosophy). It also should be noted that Dr. Sowell's doctoral thesis was on Marx and his thought; this is a subject that the author (despite his now-conservative leanings) was deeply enmeshed in during his whole early intellectual career.
All in all, this is the first book I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about Marx. Now if only Dr. Sowell could do the same for Hegel...
Simply stated, Marx is very complex. A book like this one is necessary. There are many reasons why Marx is complex, but four really struck me. First, his reasoning is complex, subtle and originally in German causing some translation issues. He simply is not easy to read. He did not write for clarity and in fact designed some of his work to elaborately lay mental traps for his opponents so he could later surprise them with a fatal blow. Definitely not a contemporary approach. Second, he often used epigrams - brief statements meant to emphasize the expression of an idea, almost like proverbs. Unfortunately they accomplish just the opposite by creating confusion in interpretation. Third, and this is huge, Marx redefined most of the terms of economics in his system, literally inviting the fallacy of equivocation for everyone who tries to understand him.Read more ›
Those people who read this expecting to have Marx bashed or praised will be disappointed. Those wishing to understand Marxism and learn about Marx the man will be very happy with this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From his roots as a young Marxist economist to renowned libertarian thinker, Sowell comes full circle with this work. Read morePublished 15 months ago by David M. Rosenberg
classic Thomas Sowell, basic reading for anyone interested in the making of what we are facing today in this country.Published 19 months ago by Rich Carlson
Not one of sowell's best jobs in writting. He knows a great deal on the subject, but the wording is tough to stay with the subject, It doesn't flow well or as well as many of Dr. Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by Peake Development Inc
Really helped to understand the basis of modern Marxist thinking.
It is important to understand Marxism, since Marxism has become a major part of curriculum at most... Read more
A very good primer on the basics of Marx's economics and the underlying philosophies for his economics..."alienation" and "dialectical materialism". Read morePublished on March 24, 2013 by Dean Jackson
Even though this book was written almost 30 years ago, there is a lot of relevancy to today's political climate. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Mark Sutter