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Marx for Beginners Paperback – July 15, 2003
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Addressing the one negative review that I saw online, I have to shake my head. Yes, if you want to know anything in depth on a subject, you must certainly go to the source. These books would never pretend to be a master's course in any of the subjects that they present (Freud, Marx, Lacan, Quantum Physics, You Name It). What they do, and do extremely well, is make the learning curve a lot less steep. They give a shape to the overall thought that they are describing. And they make it fun. Hard to imagine that anyone who wants to learn something (or who wants other people to learn something) could do anything other than cheer this excellent series.
Marx was first and foremost a philosopher. Indeed, he was the single philospher who had the biggest real-world influence on society after his death. Criticising previous philosophers that limited themselves to interperating History, Marx claimed that the real philosopher's priority was to "change history".
Sure, he got a lot wrong. Every philosopher's philosophy has two aspects though - a diagnosis of society and the human condition, and a recommended remedy. We all know that Marx's remedy went horribly wrong. Or, at least, the remedies of the Lenins, Maos and Stalins that followed.
But stop and look at his diagnosis. Whilst countless philosophers have buried themselves in metaphysical conundrums, Marx was the first that predicted the power of money relations in the modern world. One need only look at the global situation today, divided sharply between the "haves" and "have-nots" to realise that Marx's view bordered on prophetic. And for as long as "the rich get rich, and the poor get poor", the division is only going to deepen. Maybe communism wasn't the remedy, but neither, does it seem, is capitalism.
I have always loved the Beginners series, and MARX FOR BEGINNERS is one of the best. Critics of this "sound bite" format, are correct - you cannot distill the man's philosophies into a 100 page comic book. But for busy people without the time and inclination to wade through the real McCoy, this quirky cartoon documentary is very enlightening and can only leave the reader better off.
This book was actually one of several required readings in a college course I took on the history of socialism. I had to laugh when I first saw the actual book as it looks like a book of cartoons. Don't let the seeming simplicity of the book fool you, though. Rius uses cartoons and tiny bits of comedy in order to make one's introduction to the subject as interesting as possible, and he covers the basics quite well indeed: Marx's philosophy, his economic doctrine, and his concept of historical materialism. This is an increasingly complex triumvirate of concepts. Actual quotations from Marx himself often drop in front of you like a ton of bricks, but Rius uses this building material to construct a humble edifice of understanding and instruction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book that introduces Marx in a contextual fashion. I used this book along with his complete writings and learned more than I would I would have with the writings alone.Published 9 months ago by brandon karns
this book explains all the basic concepts of Marxism such as Historical and Dialectical materialism. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ruby McCary
I used it for my class and I used it when needed. It did the job.Published 15 months ago by Juliana Vazquez
Absolutely wonderful! An informative graphic novel (cartoon book) about history and politics that is accurate, understandable, and very funny.Published 17 months ago by SJ
This is a classic. It's the only one of the "for beginners" books that's any good.Published 24 months ago by Patience Carter
I originally read this when I went to a Liberal Studies program in the early 1980s and read it again in 2010. Read morePublished on April 14, 2014 by Mark K. Rempel
A very good introduction to a man who's theories are surprisingly relevant.The format is extremely easy to understand & follow.Published on April 12, 2014 by gaye cranfield
I very much enjoyed this book, and was even more pleased with how quickly it arrived after ordering it. Read morePublished on January 16, 2014 by Jack