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Marx for Beginners
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Marx for Beginners

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  908 ratings  ·  87 reviews
A cartoon book about Marx? Are you sure it's Karl, not Groucho? How can you summarize the work of Karl Marx in cartoons? It took Rius to do it. He's put it all in: the origins of Marxist philosophy, history, economics; of capital, labor, the class struggle, socialism. And there's a biography of "Charlie" Marx besides.

Like the companion volumes in the series, Marx for Begin...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 15th 2003 by Pantheon (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,471)
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Daniel
A lot of people probably think they know what Marxism is all about, but in reality only a precious few have any intimate acquaintance with the man's writings and ideas. Only the hardiest of souls can pour through the voluminous pages that constitute Marx's significant body of work, writings that are as dense and complex as just about anything you would ever hope to find. No single book can communicate the depth and breadth of Marxism, but a single book, namely Marx For Beginners by Rius, can and...more
Robby
Here is a pretty good primer for Marx theology.

accuracies

I am not sure if the "modern" idea of the "world spirit" struck a chord with the "masses" of the west as Rius postulates in page 59 at the time of Spinoza. The "world Spirit" Theology is certainly necessary for Marx-Engels philosophy.

* Marx desperately needed Rousseau's presentation of the "noble" savage in western culture, to create the idea that the only source of value is human labor power(page 104). The idea that man is basically and a...more
Nancy
The English language version of this book was published in 1976 so some of the statements seem a bit dated. For example, Rius states that 1/3 of the world's population "practices communism" which is not the case now.

This book was just enough of an introduction to get me interested in how the world progressed toward capitalism and what practical system would be better. Though the author obviously thought highly of Marx and socialist government structures, he wasn't really able to give me a convi...more
Jan
Dec 15, 2012 Jan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan by: André Levi
I enjoyed this documentary comic strip introduction to Marx by Mexican cartoonist Rius. Since I was pretty much ignorant of Marx's work to start with, I can't comment on the accuracy or comprehensiveness of Rius's intro. It held my attention, though, which is rare for nonfiction in general. I came away feeling that I understood certain currents in philosophy better, particularly political philosophy. Even more impressively, it showed a new (to me) interpretation of the functions of the state and...more
Ike Sharpless
This is a review of all the "Introducing..." books. These books are fun for what they are - engaging, silly, and witty commentaries on the authors in question and their respective critical traditions. Don't think that they're a replacement for the original. They're not. But they do provide some engaging context, especially for those who learn more visually.
Melissa
If you want to begin to understand Karl Marx and communism better this book is the place to start. Done in a cartoon format it is simple and funny. It gives a pretty good summary of philosophical thought up until Marx as well (to show where he was coming from when he developed his manifesto).
Jan
Obsolete, curious mix of dogmatic, unreflective and slightly boring ... but then again it is from 1976 and perhaps most relevant as an indicative of a contempoary point of view. Definitely not relevant for a post collapse of Communism reappraisal of Marx and Marxism
سارا معظميان
نه...به نظر من اول برین هرچی اطلاعات میخواین راجع به مارکس و انگلس و افلاطون و ...بدست بیارین و بعد (وقتی فهمیدین چی میگن)از خوندن این کتاب لذت خواهید برد
کار جالب و سختی رو انجام داده ،نویسنده کتاب رو عرض کردم
Samuel Viana
I read this book again after so many years after I bought it, when I were 18 years old, I think, in 1995 (you should say I possess a great memory, ahahaha!). One way or another this a good introductory book for everyone that is interested in doing their first start in the world of polithics and whants to understand the storical reasons behind the creation of Communism in their most known form, the Marxism-Leninism. I know that when I choose the leave a review about one such a book here, everybod...more
Toru
Super-accessible introduction to Marx's theories. Fun. It's in comic book format!

It introduces the concept of dialectic materialism in a logical and sequential manner. It's kind of a silly name for what is a really simple idea. I mean, I think that his views on economics were more interesting than his social/historiography theories.

Only issues: it has a sarcastic tone towards religion (mainly Christianity), and so this comic book may lose some readers that may have otherwise been more receptive...more
Matt
I found a copy of this book in a used book store for a buck and thought it looked like a nice introductory piece on Marx/Marxism. Hey, why not for a buck right? I'm glad I picked it up because it only took two or three hours to read and I feel like I've gained perspective on Marx, his major ideas, and how those ideas play into the context of history. It's a comic book of sorts, though the illustrations and text feel more free-form than what that may lead you to think. Reading it felt as if being...more
Kate
Breezed through this in four hours. Easy to read, amusing and interesting. Written from a British point of view, but all is forgiven. A good way to learn about Marx's life and the development of his thought, the historical context of his thought and even some historical context of the development of a lot of western philosophy and basic capitalist and socialist economic concepts. I would highly recommend this book for anyone from 12 to 112.

The only real problem I had was the lack of female repre...more
Rlampp
As an introduction to Communist thought it is a decent enough starting place if one is pressed for time and money. However the glaring errors when giving the progression of history and philosophy that lead to Marx's thoughts make me question the books entirety along with the interpretation of Marx's ideas.

A better resources would be the Penguin Classics edition of the Communist Manifesto which includes an introduction by Gareth Jones covering the same material with much less identifiable bias.
Frank
Really surprised at how much I liked this one, and double surprised to find that it was published in 1976, well before this type of illustrated seriousness became very popular.

Much of the book, a good third, is a review of philosophy up until Marx in order to show what he borrowed and changed, and it was quite well done. Too often with other historical comics I've read, they seem to be put together in a rush (something, ironically, Rius condemns his own book for), but while I've got a grounding...more
Leonardo
Mar 19, 2009 Leonardo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in politics and economy
Rius se curó en salud al señalar abiertamente, en la introducción del libro, que no había entendido el marxismo y que, inclusive recurriendo al estudiosos del tema, había llegado a la conclusión de que explicar a Marx era un atrevimiento, cuando no una locura. Así que quien se acerque a este libro con la esperanza de obtener una maestría instantánea en marxismo se irá decepcionado. La explicacíon de la doctrina de Marx y Engels ocupa una parte pequeña (aunque no por eso menos imortante y razonab...more
Jennifer
I picked up this book not because I am interested in Socialism or Marx, but simply because I like the "for Beginners" comic series. The book series are comics that talk about the history and theories of various famous scientist, psychologist, and in this case- philosopher. I found this book the most disappointing in the series. The other books would incorporated the pictures with the text better, making the lesson visual. But Marx theories are perhaps a little bit harder to show visually. So the...more
Nikhil Kautilya
Never thought that I'd have to read a comic book twice in order to grasp something. Well, that is Marx in easier terms, I'd imagine.
It must be a different task, and a difficult one if I may add, of putting such complex theories with such creativity. It is not like a fiction but working in someone else's domain with your creativity and understanding as your only tool.
Rius starts off with a funny tone and thankfully, he never exits from it till he says The End . The comments made by author throu...more
Israelo
Excelente "intento" de Rius por tratar de darnos a entender a Marx, y lo expongo así porque el autor mismo así se justifica. Un buen libro que aclara en mi vida (si, hasta ahora) la existencia y la aplicación de la filosofía, haciendo énfasis por supuesto en la propuesta por Marx y dejando claro que nos urge conocer como sociedad y planta laboral las bases de su teoría. Así que ¿cómo funciona el mecanismo en el que actualmente vivimos? —Marx lo explica y Rius lo explica fácil.
Laura
Though this came highly recommended by readers whose taste I trust, I personally found it hard to follow a discussion of Marx and his thought in this format. The graphic style, the mere snippets of excerpts from his writing, the parade of names and terms, just could not sustain my attention. The approach emphasized the sources of Marx's ideas too much for my inclination and purposes. I wanted a richer context for his own era rather than so many antecedents. Also the tone is off-puttingly zealous...more
Kym Andrew Robinson
A simple little book which tells a very pro Marxist version of the man and his theories. It is very slanted towards the benefits of socialism and with that in mind one can still navigate this book with some interest. Though the book is mostly to do with Marx it goes on some tangents about philosophy and religion while also dancing around other elements of any collectivist philosophy.

Fun cartoons which is the real star of this book.

One for the collection but nothing ground breaking here.

40 %
Satish Chandra
Imagine some famous cartoonist like scott adams and combine his art with the explanatory banal notes of a college professor and the result is
description

The book was simply terrific. The author effectively sums up Marxism, its history to its birth, to its implementation in Russia (very less but still ! ). As a beginner, it was simply a delight to read it.

The book doesn't lets you get bored (except the part where he cites the manifesto), the wit and the comic of the book was really something. Quite a good r...more
Diego Ospina
A cualquiera que como yo disfruta de cuestionar los sistemas político-económicos de organización social, le resultara agradable, entre los libros este es como un entremés.
Nativeabuse
Best, easiest to understand introduction to Marx so far. It places marx in a historical line up alongside other philosophers so you can easily see how he fits into history.

Didn't realize it was a comic book when I grabbed this off the library shelf, and I probably would not have checked it out if I knew it was, but in the end it ended up being better than all the other Marx introductory books combined.

Rius really makes marx's key concepts simple and easy to understand while at the same time ill...more
Public_enemy
Dec 06, 2011 Public_enemy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: marxist beginers
Recommended to Public_enemy by: Hegel, Kojeve...
Shelves: philosophy
After Introducing Hegel here is another very good "Introducing" book. It is engaging, enough simplified, well written and it perfectly fulfills its purpose to introduce Marxism to people. Alex noticed long prologue of history of philosophy, but I didn't find big trouble in recapitulating that. Almost everything is covered in this book, but remember book is written in 1976., so there is no proper critical view on Marx; there is no mention of Hegel's logic system manifested in Marx's works; and th...more
Nayef AHindas
هذا الكتاب للأطفال ربما ، لكنه عندي افضل من كتابات الماركسيين الجدد الذي تعني لهم الماركسية ان تكون سطحيا و ميكانيكيا.
Susan
Hmmm, a cartoon book summarizing Marxism... Well, if my friend David can write a great mini-comic of Ulysses, why not? This was a very broad overview of Marx and his influences, though a nice introduction with a decent list of suggestions for further reading.
What I found most fascinating, though, was what the previous owner chose to highlight in the copy that I was reading. I can only imagine that it was some frazzled college student that didn't even have the time/energy to read the Cliff Notes...more
Kevin Cole
Is it possible to completely disagree with Marxism and still enjoy this book? It is.
Tsf
It was ok. I felt like I was being talked down to. Still had some interesting tidbits in it tho.
Hiyas
This book is a very good primer not only on communism, but also on how the world works. Through comics and humor, it explains Marx's ideas in a very "digestible" way. It opens your eyes to things that has been happening (and has not changed) since the industrial revolution (and even before that).

It also provides some bits and pieces of history. It included some excerpts from Marx's Communist Manifesto. That is quite difficult to understand since the author was not able to explain it the way he d...more
Aaron Glett
If you've never quite been able to wrap your head around the concept of what the poor economist and philosopher was trying to say, this book is for you. Comic wit helps to drive it home, and open the mind to what he was saying. Not that it doesn't still have problems, no system is perfect. As a result of reading this book, I firmly believe you will not see any Pure system of Communism, Free-Market, etc. ever truly succeed. The most stable systems tend to be mixtures of the various systems, takin...more
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Undeciphering a genius today 1 17 Nov 23, 2008 06:58PM  
  • Introducing Jung
  • Introducing Nietzsche (Introducing...)
  • Introducing Buddha (Introducing)
  • Introducing Chomsky
  • Introducing Derrida
  • Introducing Critical Theory
  • Philosophy For Beginners
  • Introducing Semiotics
  • Introducing Wittgenstein
  • Introducing Philosophy
  • Introducing Postmodernism
  • Introducing Foucault
  • Introducing Sartre (Introducing)
  • Introducing Lacan (Introducing)
  • Introducing Linguistics
  • Chaos for Beginners
  • Darwin for Beginners
  • Foucault for Beginners
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Rius is the pseudonym of Eduardo del Rio, the internationally acclaimed Mexican caricaturist and editorial cartoonist whose innovative work established a new field in comic strips: the political and documentary cartoon-book.
More about Rius...
Filosofía Para Principiantes 500 años fregados pero cristianos El manual del perfecto ateo La trukulenta historia del kapitalismo La Panza Es Primero / The Belly Is First: La Triste Realidad De La Comida Mexicana / The Sad Reality Of Mexican Food (Spanish Edition)

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