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A Companian to Marx's Capital: 2 Hardcover – 10 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (10 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781681228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781681220
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,359,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals."--Naomi Klein"A consistently intelligent voice of the left."--Edwin Heathcote, "Financial Times"Praise for "A Companion to Marx's Capital""Harvey is a scholarly radical; his writing is free of journalistic cliches, full of facts and carefully thought-through ideas."--Richard Sennett"Without a doubt one of the two best companions to Marx's ["Capital"]."--Joshua Clover, "Nation""No short review can do justice to this outstanding book ... Essential."--Michael Perelman, "Choice"

About the Author

David Harvey teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and is the author of many books, including "Rebel Cities"; "Social Justice and the City"; "The Condition of Postmodernity"; "The Limits to Capital"; "A Brief History of Neoliberalism"; and "Spaces of Global Capitalism."

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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Krul on 14 April 2010
Format: Paperback
David Harvey is not just one of the world's foremost social and economic geographers, but is also one of the world's foremost Marx interpreters. "A Companion to Marx's Capital" is the book form of a series of lectures on Capital, Volume 1, that he has annually held with his college students and which has famously been made available publicly in video format (he is currently fundraising for volume 2). Because of this, the book is not just only about Volume 1, but it is also written to be as accessible to a general public as possible. Moreover, it seeks only to explain, not to defend. Sometimes, this does lead to trouble - Harvey does not entirely seem to grasp that to explain the way a certain figure thought about a topic also means you have to show what arguments he himself would have used to defend his perspective, and when Harvey tries to substitute his own arguments for those of Marx, they are often not the more convincing for it. The book is somewhat weak on making the entirety seem convincing for that reason, but that is something easily solved by referring to his excellent other work, "The Limits to Capital" (Limits to Capital).

That said, the book is a systematic, clear and engaging explanation of the work, built on a chapter-by-chapter approach. Harvey recommends, especially for the difficult and abstract first chapters, to have a copy of Marx's "Capital", Vol. 1, with you while reading it - the Penguin edition is generally recommended (Capital: Critique of Political Economy v. 1 (Classics S.)).
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Germinal TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people approach reading Marx's 'Capital' with great trepidation, especially as it's first three chapters are famously difficult, I know I did.

So, therefore, anything which helps readers get to grips with, persevere with and better understand that book is to be welcomed, and David Harvey has produced an excellent companion, for 'Capital Vol 1 for just that purpose. Anyone wanting a substitute to the task of reading 'Capital' will be disappointed however.....you'll still need to tackle the big book itself.

I like the way that Harvey uses techniques from his lecture series to explain concepts - like talking about breakfast to explain the concept of 'commodity fetishism'.

Even for those who have already read 'Capital', Harvey's 'Companion' will be a be rewarding experience as it makes you review your own understanding leading to a better one.

As we live in a time when global capitalism is in crisis and people seek reasons to understand why and look to rediscover Marx's analysis of capitalism, Harvey's 'Companion' is a valuable aid to understanding and, ultimately, challenging and changing the system.
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Format: Paperback
This book, really does make volume 1 of Capital available to ordinary bods like me. I did try to read it before and gave up after failing to sufficiently understand the first chapter. Eventually I gave it another go after reading Alex Callinicos's introductory text 'The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx' and found that I could follow it . The truth is that Harvey is a very clear writer but Marx's ideas are complex and take a little getting used to. This is especially the case because the first 3 chapters of Marx's 'Capital' are the most difficult. And this difficulty is, to some extent, reflected in the first three chapters of this book. Harvey is however much clearer than Marx making the journey much less painful and much more enjoyable. More intelligent or at least patient readers than me may no doubt be able to read Harvey right off. It's a beautifully written book and well worth the effort of mastering the first three chapters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mash on 30 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Capital vol. I is an intimidating book, with many hundreds of pages and thousands of footnotes. In fact, even the footnotes have footnotes... Needless to say, any help in keeping sight of the bigger picture is welcome. This book does just that. It's clearly written and cuts right to the heart of what Marx was trying to say. Harvey's explanation of the "dialectic" structure of the book is alone enough to make this book worth buying.

Understand, however, that this is not a critique of Capital, and nor does it claim to be. I'm certainly not a fan of Marxism, but if you want insight into how Marxists themselves understand Marx, this is the book for you.

Alternatively, you can follow Harvey's lectures on his website for free. The book follows the structure (and indeed often the wording) of these lectures.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Whitman on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An extremely informative book which provides timely information for anyone who is concerned about the direction the world and its economy is headed.
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