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As Free and as Just as Possible: The Theory of Marxian Liberalism 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0470674123
ISBN-10: 0470674121
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Editorial Reviews


“In the preface, Reiman says he hopes the book will be of interest to both the educated layperson and the professional philosopher; in this respect it succeeds admirably.  Written in clear and lucid prose, the book will be a valuable resource for students looking for an introduction to Marx and Rawls’s thought on freedom, justice and capitalism.”  (Res Publica, 1 March 2013)

“In this way, Reiman’s exciting book is a new and timely contribution for us today.”  (Marx And Philosophy Review of Books, 2 June 2014)

“It is likely that Reiman has good replies to these critical comments. In any case, independently of whether his core argument succeeds or falters, the distinctions, concepts, and arguments Reiman develops in As Free and as Just as Possibleare of great significance. They need to be studied and discussed by all those interested in Marx and justice, the real conditions of freedom, Rawls, and post-capitalism.”  (Social Theory and Practice, 1 October 2013)

“As Free and as Just as Possible offers a very accessible introduction to two major political thinkers, John Rawls and Karl Marx, to the relation between their respective theories and the work of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, as well as more recent theories of Jan Narveson and G.A. Cohen.”  (Krisis, 1 December 2013)

“Written in clear and lucid prose, the book will be a valuable resource for students looking for an introduction to Marx and Rawls’s thought on freedom, justice and capitalism. But specialists will also find much of interest here, too, since as we have seen the book is not just an overview of Marx and Rawls’s thought on these issues, but an imaginative attempt to fuse their insights to create a new theory of social justice. Whether or not one is fully convinced by that final synthesis, Reiman deserves credit for attempting to show that, while the idea of combining liberal and socialist has a history, it may still have a future.”  (Res Publica, 8 October 2013)

“This is an important effort to reinvigorate modern liberalism by applying essential insights from a fading Marxism.  Summing Up:  Highly recommended.  General readers, graduate students, and research faculty.”  (Choice, 1 September 2013)


A lucid analysis of Rawlsian liberalism and Marxian theory that shows the strengths and limits of each. This would be enough to make the book essential reading, but the author goes on to provide a robust defense of Marxian Liberalism: an imaginative blend of the right to liberty with the Marxist critique of private property.
- Howard McGary, Rutgers University

Reiman’s exciting new book challenges the thinking of political philosophers on both left and right. Reiman argues that Marx’s critique of the injustice and domination endemic to capitalism must be combined with the commitment to individual freedom which is the core value of liberalism. The book provides impressively clear and accessible discussions of sophisticated philosophical ideas. It is simultaneously a solid, original, and timely contribution to political philosophy and a good candidate for an undergraduate textbook.

- Alison M. Jaggar, University of Colorado at Boulder


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470674121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470674123
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,634,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In an attractive and plausible synthesis of insights from John Rawls and Karl Marx, this book gives a wonderfully lucid account of the ethical import of Marx's insights and is at the same time very compatible with the spirit of Rawls's theory of justice as fairness. Among the highlights of the book are its account of structural coercion and its argument that the difference principle (that inequalities in the distribution of social and economic primary goods are not arbitrary if they benefit, or at least do not disadvantage, the least advantaged representative person in society) can be defended without the appeal Rawls makes to the maximin rule for choice under conditions of uncertainty. Highly readable, creative, and constructive in its approach to thorny problems of distributive justice, this book is a welcome contribution to ethics and political philosophy. I am recommending especially its chapter on the labor theory of the difference principle to students in my Rawls course this semester. -- Claudia Card
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