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Why Marx Was Right Paperback – April 24, 2012
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About the Author
Terry Eagleton is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster, England, and Professor of Cultural Theory at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He lives in Dublin.
Top Customer Reviews
Thus, while the book is entitled 'Why Marx was right', a better title would be 'Why Marx wasn't wrong', since Eagleton is squarely on the defensive in each chapter. This is a little disappointing, as the current economic crisis makes a positive case for Marx's analysis easier than ever. Yet Eagleton does not really discuss Marx's 'Capital' and his analysis of capitalism in any depth, meaning that the reader will not be given much of an introduction to Marxist thought at all. Instead, Eagleton is more interested in extricating Marx from the disasters of Stalinism and Maoism, and from the conception that Marxism is hopelessly utopian, teleological, anti-humanist, economically determinate, and violently insurrectionary. This type of defense constitutes chapters 2-6 and 8-9, and Eagleton acquits himself ably in the role of defense attorney.
The other major theme of the book (Ch. 1,7,10) consists of Eagleton arguing for the continued relevance of Marx today. Here, Eagleton argues at length for the obvious fact that class is more relevant than ever, despite capitalism's ability to obscure this fact.Read more ›
As this excerpt demonstrates, it will not convert the skeptics and it will not overturn the empire. It posits a humanist Marx devotedly, and how this vision would be realized may be as much a question for seminars as Christianity is in seminaries. How this lofty aspiration relates to our everyday world needs explanation, and Eagleton for an open-minded reader may provoke more than soothe, as he sets out I suspect to do. My review comes from neutral territory if any still exists for a reader approaching Marx. I am not a political insider, a trained economist, or a tenured radical, so my interest in this comes from a layman's need for an accessible, cogent interpretation. Eagleton's coming to Marx from lit-crit and not poli-sci: this needs emphasis, given some hasty generalizations, logical weaknesses, and underdeveloped sections of what attempts to be a précis.Read more ›
Eagleton breaks up the book into ten chapters, each of which purports to address one common criticism of Marx. The actual division is perhaps my biggest criticism of the book. While each chapter header does indeed give common criticism, and one certainly can't accuse Eagleton of creating strawmen to knock down, he does tend to lump too much into each critique.
Chapter Six, for instance, begins, "Marx was a materialist.... He was brutally dismissive of religion, and regarded morality simply as a question of the end justifying the means.... There is an obvious route from this dreary, soulless vision of humanity to the atrocities of Stalin and other disciples of Marx." There are several different themes running through that critique - materialism, religion, morality, and atrocities of Marx's avowed followers. Certainly, such themes are all arguably related, but trying to address them all together makes it rather confusing to remember exactly what critique Eagleton is rebutting. Several times I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapter to refresh my memory. Also, it makes the book rather repetitive because many themes end up getting addressed in several sections.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is written for the general public consumption with the gross oversimplifications and even some mistakes. The author is not a Marxist scholar.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
great book! clearly debunks many intentionally planted misconceptions that the john birchers and southern white plantation owners may not want you to know about.Published 4 months ago by james shea
A most necessary and important book about a most necessary and important man. As always Eagleton is a pleasure to read. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Prometheus
This is a very well organized and well written distillation of Marxist ideas. It's not so much why Marx was right as how popular impressions of Marx and his ideas are wrong. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gderf
This book is an excellent introduction to Marx’s thought, whether for class assignment or general reading. However, it is not flawless. First, what makes it excellent? Read morePublished 12 months ago by William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Purchase not this book. Fair warning, for fear of having any vestige of your old, bourgeois illusions vanish a la the local working class following a successful implementation of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Charles L. Zorbaugh Sr.
Don't think too hard on this, but compare the "then" and "now". You might get a great suprise!Published 14 months ago by Haulz12