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Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx Paperback – October 11, 2000

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About the Author

Robert C. Tucker is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. Among his publications are Stalinism: Essays in Historical InterpretationThe Soviet Political Mind, rev. ed.; The Marxian Revolutionary IdeaStalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929; and Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above 1928-1941.



Robert C. Tucker is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University. Among his publications are Stalinism: Essays in Historical InterpretationThe Soviet Political Mind, rev. ed.; The Marxian Revolutionary IdeaStalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929; and Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above 1928-1941.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; 3rd edition (October 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765806444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765806444
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I have no idea what book John C, Landon is critiquing below, but it is not Philosophy & Myth in Karl Marx. This work by Tucker is astounding. After having read so many works pro and con on Marx and Marxism, this work opens up the vistas of Marx's thought free of either biter hatred, dismissal and diatribes as well as the revisionism and neo-Marxism of fervent true believers out to protect what they have been told Marx says, having never read him fully.

Tucker takes you on a history of the underlying philosophy that influenced Marx from German Ideal Philosophy and Romanticism to of course Hegelianism, but this is no dry read. It is vibrant, exciting and a true page turner. I was sad when the book ended. Whether you are pro or con as far as Marx is concerned, you will come out of reading this book with at least an admiration for the intellectual that he was and a deeper and greater appreciation of the elements that have gone into making the modern and postmodern mind.

If you are a Marxist or lean that way this book will give you a great indepth understanding of Marx that you won't get from any other work and if you are on the right, this book will give you an understanding of so much of progressive thinking that seems incoherent to you. Along the way you will both be surprised as Tucker, in fully reviewing older Marxism, the ideas that Marx actually wrote, also brings out the areas of his thought where he actually agrees with classical liberal/libertarian ideas. This makes neo-Marxists pensive and turn reactionary as they can't have anyone, especially true believers reading that Marx and classical liberals had a lot of things in common. The meta-narrative today is that classical liberalism was fascist, so you cant have it linked to the founder of scientific socialism.

This book is a tour de force not to be missed, no matter what the dry reactionary neo-Marxists think and comment here.
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Format: Paperback
It is an excellent book; it seeks to explain the roots of Marxism, defined as the actual "thought" of Karl Marx rather than "Marxism" in the hands of Lenin and others. Tucker's conclusions are, to say the least, doubtful (do however decide this for yourself), but that doesn't blemish the impressive scope and quality of his scholarship.
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Format: Paperback
One of the strange secrets of Marx is that you can often learn more about him from his critics than from his defenders. Then ironically Marx's critiques, if not his theories which get in the way, often spring to life again. This Transaction reprint is like walking past an old canon on a battlefield and induces one to reopen old battles in one's mind to the point of rubbing salt in old wounds. One thinks of the Prussian official inviting Schelling back to the Universities to 'uproot the dragon seed of Hegelianism'. This approach to Marx critique wishes to uproot the whole of German philosophy starting with Kant (armed with Karen Horney's view on psychoanalysis, it seems) and that's both its weakness and curious eccentric interest. It's instructive to watch someone who has the nerve, almost naivete, to try. Hegel has a few dangerous themes in his work, and this strain entered Marx. Without agreeing, one can consider an 'expose' of a side of Hegel that is factored out of all treatments by his fans. But Kant, Hegel and Marx can't be lumped together in such a cavalier fashion. It seems at points like the book's real villain is Hegel. That approach, way before Fukuyama and his 'end of history' pastiche, would be rejected out of hand now that Hegel is back in the propaganda business, and it has to be admitted the author is perhaps off the mark on every other page. But every _other_ page is curiously apt.
The way in which Hegel influenced Marx and Marxists is a philosophical tragedy in itself as teleological thinking and potential violence come into conjuncition. To pin that on Marx and use Hegel for justifying capitalism as 'cunning of reason' is a bit stinkpotish.
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