Rjurik Davidson's Reviews > Marx's Das Kapital: A Biography

Marx's Das Kapital by Francis Wheen
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message 1: by Rjurik (last edited May 23, 2012 01:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rjurik Davidson It's hard to explain how good an introduction to Marx's 'Das Kapital' this is. Wheen has already given us a good account of Marx's life, and here he takes on the biography (conception, composition, content and reception) of Marx's famous work. Marxist economics can be pretty dull (as anyone who has tried to get through Mandel's Marxist Economic Theory will know). But Wheen's book is terrifically lively. Not only does he give us a sense of Marx (and his friend Engels) but also reminding us that Das Kapital should be read as a great gothic novel, on the shelf next to 'Frankenstein.' Marx himself considered 'Das Kapital' as a work of literature and it is filled with references to Shakespeare and Dante. In the book, Marx takes us into the dungeons of industrial capitalism, filled with smoke and spectres, infernal flames and devilish overseers. Wheen manages to convey the wonder of this while giving us its central theses in clear and concise form. His survey of its reception is equally efficient, even if there are plenty of disagreements one might have with him.


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