Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Case for Socialism” as Want to Read:
The Case for Socialism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Case for Socialism

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  25 reviews
"Vivid and urgent prose.--Jeffrey St. Clair

Mass argues that another worlda socialist worldis possible, one in which people come before profit and working people control society democratically, putting the worlds resources to meeting human needs.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 30th 2005 by Haymarket Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Case for Socialism, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Case for Socialism

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  225 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Case for Socialism
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book five stars not because I agree with the author's analysis or conclusions, but because it was well-written and honest. "Socialism," of course, has become a word that's analogous to "child-molester" or "terrorist" in our nation's current political discourse, and for understandable reasons: socialism/communism is responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million human beings in the last century. To this day, the economic systems of places like China and North Korea continue ...more
Steven Yenzer
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This book should be called "The Case Against Capitalism." The majority of the pages are pointed toward criticism of capitalism, which, although interesting, was not what I hoped I would get out of this book.
Mark Lewis
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
How discouraging it must be for socialists that this book presumes to make their case. I have no idea what the views of the larger socialist community are regarding its content, but I can't understand how it results in anything but a net loss for the ideology. With socialism still being somewhat of a dirty word in America, I enjoy reading its proponents put forth their best arguments for embracing it and judging whether or not it deserves to be demonized the way it has been.

The book relies
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good primer for those that are angry with the current system, the status quo and would like to consider an alternative.

I like it because growing up in the US, there has historically been enormous stigma associated with the word Socialism, think camps, gulag, USSR, bread lines, papers required for travel etc.

Alan Maass speaks to those who have never delved into the actual nuts and bolts of Marxist thought but are at the point where they recognize the reality that the current system
Jon Birondo
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Change is necessary for the advancement of an individual, especially a collection of individuals. Anyone who disagrees with progressive policies or agendas lacks common sense. Change leads to conflict and conflict leads to resolution (aka Hegelian Dialectics: Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis).

There can't be any change working through a system, especially a capitalist system. Which is why socialism is the only option because it promotes change by way of revolution and by worker's rights. Simply
Arlene Baker
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for everyone who works for a living.

Everyone must understand why we have our current economic and climate disasters, and clearly understand what forces are in play, but more importantly, grasp a vision of a better world that is possible. The old saying of, You can't get there if you don't know where you are true. We must first understand and embrace the vision of what kind of society we want, must understand the steps to get there, but most importantly, the forces that
Steve Comstock
Four stars for being quite good at what it claims to be; a beginner's guide to Socialism.

I had some faults with it, there was a lot of argument from anecdotal evidence and sometimes it was a bit overly emotional. But Maass offers a thought-provoking introductory argument in favor of Socialism. He was approachable and resonant. The cherries on top were the bibliography (always a rating raiser for me) and the very interesting essay by Howard Zinn included as an afterward.
More of an indictment of capitalism than a program for instituting socialism, the author does lay clear some of the problems we face in the grip of capitalism. A clearer plan for getting to socialism as well as a detailed program of what socialism would do would have been helpful.

The article on Eugene Debs by Howard Zinn at the end of this book was great.
Corbin Routier
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The intention of the book is to persuade the reader against Capitalism and towards the sharing of wealth, i.e. Socialism. It overplays the merits of Socialism in a very idealistic form as it also downplays Capitalism in a very idealistic form. This said, it does provide a very good basis for the over concentration of wealth in the world.

"According to Forbes, the world's 793 billionaires as of 2009 still had a combined worth of $2.4 trillion. That's twice the combined GDP of all the countries of
Camille McCarthy
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
A modern introduction to Socialism, which tells why it is an idea which should be revisited now that we live in a time of abundance while a large number of people live in abject poverty without basic needs. At times reading this felt like reading propaganda, because it is a short book and only gives a bare overview of the ideas without much nuance and detail. In that way it is a great introduction but further reading would be required in order to really get a good grasp of the ideas presented ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
If you've been noticing, as I have lately, how often the term "socialism" keeps popping up in news articles, blogs, political debates, etc., it might be a good idea to read this book. Of course, the term is usually used by Republicans (and Democrats even) as a form of slander, but the unusual (to me) reiteration of the term kept making me suspicious that deep down perhaps many wealthy, powerful government officials and corporate CEOs are really voicing their fear: an eruption of socialist values ...more
This book is written in journalistic style, so it is very accessible to read. It does not explain Marxism in detail but it does explain why capitalism is destructive and is not beneficial for working-class and poor people. Maass does indeed make a case for socialism, but his book could use a few more chapters on that topic. Many more people these days are interested in what socialism is all about, so we need more books (also blogs, videos, podcasts, daily commentary) like this in order to ...more
Amy Wolf
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, which examines the brutality/inequality of our present capitalist society and frames an alluring alternative. Not just a pie-in-the-sky affirmation of socialism, the book also presents realistic ways to implement socialism by using the power of the masses to organize, strike, and plan. Not for right-wing hysterics who scream "Socialism!" at someone as mainstream as Obama, for for the thoughtful reader who seeks an alternative to our present corrupt, rotten rule of the ...more
Adam Ross
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
As a lot of other reviewers and readers have noted, this is more accurately titled "What's Bad about Captialism," rather than "What's awesome about Socialism," but the last few chapters do begin to set out a positive case for it, which I found fascinating. The discussion of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union actually *not* being socialist at all was captivating and I am now much more interested in reading up on that historical period than before.
Justin Wu
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society
This book gives a brief introduction to modern socialist ideas. However, my problem with the book is that although it has pointed out many problems with the capitalist world, it does not provide much solutions to it. The author does a good job in destructing but not in reconstructing.
Emily Shaw
A good introduction and overview for the need for socialist thought and organization in contemporary society. Read the final section, "What Else to Read" and fill up your Goodreads queue with Zinn, D'Amato, Hallas, Draper, Smith, Wolf, Shawki and others published by Haymarket Books.
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
More an indictment of capitalism than a case for socialism. I still liked it. Well written and compelling in its own way.
Richard Cripps
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A book that fails to live up to its title and instead offers a convincing critique on free market exploitation.
Joe Chaves
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction to socialism. It was very understandable and modern. And I recommend it to anybody that doesn't understand what socialism is.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Defines socialism for a new generation that often lumps together Marxism and Socialism into one category.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it liked it
May 21, 2009 rated it liked it
for a book that i completely disagree with it makes some good points
Mike Stifle
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2011
rated it liked it
May 03, 2011
rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2015
Troy Rawls
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2013
Justin Renquist
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2011
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2010
rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2013
rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Communist Manifesto
  • The ABCs of Socialism
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
  • Written on the Body
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
  • The Soul of Man Under Socialism
  • Deep Threat (Billy Beckett #1)
  • Ghost Wall
  • Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
  • Homage to Catalonia
  • My Disillusionment in Russia
  • Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis
  • My Further Disillusionment in Russia
  • Why Socialism?
  • The State: Its Historic Role
  • The Russian Tragedy
  • At the Cafe: Conversations on Anarchism
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
See similar books…

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
44 likes · 10 comments
“At its heart, socialism is about the creation of a new society, built from the bottom up, through the struggles of ordinary working people against exploitation, oppression, and injustice—one that eliminates profit and power as the prime goals of life, and instead organizes our world around the principles of equality, democracy, and freedom. The” 0 likes
More quotes…