Leon M's Reviews > Marx's Concept of Man

Marx's Concept of Man by Erich Fromm
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fromm, may-holiday-2010, economics
Read in May, 2010

** spoiler alert ** In "Marx's Concept of Man", Fromm tries to correct the somewhat impartial picture and lack of understanding that he thinks of as a so common factor of public discussion of Marx's works.

The best part of the book is undoubtedly the 87 pages that Fromm wrote himself. I was astonished and fascinated by the first ever description of 'alienation' that gave the example of language as an alienating factor and thus explained the concept to me so clearly and easily: "one must always be aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience" (p.45/46).

Fromm also talks about the "Falsification of Marx's Concepts" and describes why exactly the idea that Marx was too focused on the community (and forgot about the individual) is so utterly wrong: Actually, he was talking about the alienation of the individual all along and it is in our society that the individual is exploited by advertising and such - at least according to Fromm.

Fromm's part is supplemented by a translation of the "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts" by Karl Marx, which deepen the reader's understanding of Marx's theories especially due to the fact that Fromm quoted from them at length in his earlier discussion of the subject and now the reader can see this quotes in context.

The book concludes with several other writings of Karl Marx as well as some reminiscences of Marx, brought to paper by friends and family.

There are two things that stop me from giving this book five stars: In the first place, Fromm focused too much on the person Marx for my taste, explaining at length (and also printing entire accounts of) why he was such a "nice guy". Secondly, most of this book is made up by Marx's writings, and some of his writing is not easily read out of context.

All in all, a great read and a good introduction to Marx, maybe leaving out the chapter of his "Critique of Hegel's Dialectic [...:]".

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