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Marx for Beginners (Writers & Readers Documentary Comic Book)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,456 Ratings  ·  138 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
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 15th 2003 by Pantheon (first published 1976)
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Jul 04, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 02, 2017 Sara rated it it was amazing
The book was awesome! I think I read it in the right time and it helped me to get a complementary knowledge about Marx and his declarations.

Money obliges those who haven't got any, to sell themselves, body and soul. That is to sell their labor power(worker, peasant, intellectual)... THIS IS ALIENATION.

Ah, how I consent to this explanation of alienation, not only about the labor power but how I wasted lots of my precious time to work for private-owned companies...
Anyway, the book starts by giving
Jun 23, 2010 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here is a pretty good primer for Marx theology.


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
Libby Nusz
Aug 23, 2016 Libby Nusz rated it really liked it
This was moderately entertaining and very easy-to-read, however I noticed that Rius has a tendency to oversimplify things ... be especially wary of the middle part of the book-a very sloppy, spontaneous, unnecessary lesson about the history of western philosophy leading up to Marx, which was also (unsurprisingly) filled with more oversimplifications.

Otherwise, I found that when Rius wrote exclusively about Marx and Engels, he was able to explain a lot of their ideas very quickly. The illustratio
Nov 13, 2013 Pio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cũng hên là quyển này chỉ là sách nhập môn nên nội dung đơn giản (mặc dù tác giả đã dành ra nhiều trang để trích dẫn vài đoạn được coi là "dễ nhai" trong sách của Marx và Engels), nhưng mà tui không thích cái phần tóm tắt lịch sử của tác giả cho lắm: nó mang nặng ý kiến cá nhân của chính tác giả hơn là cố gắng trình bày những sự kiện một cách khách quan. Sự thật thì ngoài những tổn hại to lớn mà tôn giáo đã gây ra làm cản trở sự phát triển của khoa học, chúng ta chẳng thể phủ nhận được những lợi ...more
Pongprapas Saengsuriyong
Sep 30, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
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
Dec 15, 2012 Jan rated it liked it  ·  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.
SerA Mo
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
Jan 26, 2013 Jan rated it did not like it
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
Tracy Shapley
Aug 29, 2010 Tracy Shapley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: socialism
It's written in comic book form and while I hate comic books it's incredibly reader friendly and does a great job of making Marx very accessible. It's my #1 most recommended book to people who are interested in Marx. Plus, it's cute.
Feb 03, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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).
Jul 30, 2016 Mohamed rated it really liked it
A simplified and nice introduction to Marx and his thought.
Afiq Zainal
Jan 06, 2013 Afiq Zainal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book for marxist beginner or anyone who is interested to have an introductory undestanding on marxism. Plus the illustration is comic-like. Which makes it more interesting. :)
Jan 14, 2017 Tina rated it did not like it
terrible content.
Feb 23, 2016 Olia rated it really liked it
Unfortunately, I did't read the book in its original language, so I couldn't get the full experience of it. However, I enjoyed the interesting approach Rius had to it, funny and easy to read.
The Ted Talk of books. It serves as a neat introduction and helps to stimulate interest in the topics. The concept of a graphic guide is pulled off pretty successfully, and makes the book easy to digest. My major problems with the book lie in the fact that complexities are not well dealt with by the book. Not only are they ignored in the book, which is acceptable considering the size, but counter arguments etc are not even stated to exist.

The bias in the book also put me off to a point. Being n
Thomas Pentecost
May 04, 2017 Thomas Pentecost rated it really liked it
Lays the groundwork for understanding one of the most influential philosophers of our time. You might not agree with him, but you cannot deny his influence. If you choose to disagree, make sure you really understand what you are opposing. Blind opposition, just like blind faith, is a fools errand.
Keaton Quinlan
Jun 01, 2017 Keaton Quinlan rated it really liked it
fun and breezy introduction to Marxist thought.
Jan 15, 2017 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sound overview of the man and his theories. I would have liked more on the personal biography of him, though that's only a small critique.
Yasin Çetin
Dec 28, 2016 Yasin Çetin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Çizgi roman tadında Felsefe tarihindeki gelişmelere kısa bir bakış sonrası Marx'ın düşünce dünyasına bir yolculuk sunuyor.
Xóchitl Godinez
Mar 16, 2017 Xóchitl Godinez rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shreya Prakash
Sep 25, 2015 Shreya Prakash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of late I have really been wondering why we are not taught certain critical things at school, example Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and now Marx's teachings. Actually I know why we are not taught the latter, it's too politically fraught.
This book is perfect for someone who wants to first get an overview and a context to the theory of communism, rather theory of theories i.e. how society developed, how and why religions came about, what led to different social classes developing, who w
I don't get on well with philosophy and social sciences at the whole because words seem so imperfect and insubstantial compared to the simple beauty of formal and natural sciences, so my review isn't really objective. But I'm trying to fathom some basic ideas to not be plain stupid. This book works well in this case. It pays a lot of attention to history and evolution of philosophy which helps to understand difference between idealism and materialism, dialectical and metaphysical. I feel that th ...more
Benjamin Britton
Dec 22, 2015 Benjamin Britton rated it really liked it
"Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."

"One should add that Hegel was an idealist, and for him, the ideas were not more or less abstract images of objects; on the contrary, things and their development were a projection of ideas which had existed, no one can say how, even before the world itself existed. Hegel's stem was a gigantic miscarriage, but the last of its kind."

"… the alienation of the worker is expressed this: the more he produces, th
May 16, 2011 Kafka rated it really liked it
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
Nov 11, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
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
Samuel Viana
May 11, 2011 Samuel Viana rated it really liked it
Shelves: rereading
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
May 08, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Book author incorrect 2 20 Nov 30, 2014 04:37AM  
Undeciphering a genius today 1 18 Nov 23, 2008 06:58PM  
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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...

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“To possess possessions, a man will "sell himself" to have what another has, but it never dawns on him ~ that the more he gets, the less he keeps of himself.” 1 likes
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