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Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 29 Apr 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (29 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140445757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140445756
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 4.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karl Marx was born at Trier in 1818 of a German-Jewish family converted to Christianity. As a student in Bonn and Berlin he was influenced by Hegel's dialectic, but he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. In Paris in 1844 Marx met Friedrich Engels, with whom he formed a life-long partnership. Together, they prepared the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) as a statement of the Communist League's policy.

In 1848 Marx returned to Germany and took an active part in the unsuccessful democratic revolution. The following year he arrived in England as a refugee and lived in London until his death in 1883. Helped financially by Engels, Marx and his family nevertheless lived in great poverty. After years of research (mostly carried out in the British Museum), he published in 1867 the first volume of his great work, Capital. From 1864 to 1872 Marx played a leading role in the International Working Men's Association, and his last years saw the development of the first mass workers' parties founded on avowedly Marxist principles.

Besides the two posthumous volumes of Capital compiled by Engels, Karl Marx's other writings include The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, The Civil War in France, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy and Theories of Surplus-value.

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About the Author

Karl Marx (1818-1883). The core of Marx's economic analysis found early expression in the Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (Economic and Political Manuscripts of 1844) (1844). There, Marx argued that the conditions of modern industrial societies invariably result in the estrangement (or alienation) of workers from their own labor. In his review of a Bruno Baier book, On the Jewish Question (1844), Marx decried the lingering influence of religion over politics and proposed a revolutionary re-structuring of European society. Much later, Marx undertook a systematic explanation of his economic theories in Das Kapital (Capital) (1867-95) and Theorien über den Mehrwert (Theory of Surplus Value) (1862).

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The object before us, to begin with, material production. Read the first page
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ford on 12 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book Marx describes many facets of economics, money, and capital and capitalism. Certain parts very well describe and explain the anatomy of the credit crunch - an amazing 150 years after writing the book and it is still accurate. He based his ideas on a thorough study of the economic credit crisis of 1857-8.
Grundrisse is actually Marx's rough note books, written as research for Das Capital, never intended for publication.
So is not polished in its form, and it is best to read various sections seperately, and best if you have a guide to find the most relevant sections.
I do like his tone though. In one bit, after having disproved some professor who is denying the tendency of the rate of profit to fall,he simply writes, "This rubbish is herewith disposed of".
A mighty mind at work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This copy of Marx's classic work on money and capital is brilliant. First class delivery and great condition make the read so much better.
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16 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
Did Marx simply set "Hegel on his head" or did his mature dialectic truly address his youthful thesis: " all mysteries that lead to mysticism find their solution in material practice and the rational comprehension thereof".
Find out here in the notes that produced Capital Volume 1.
Marx is not dead: substitute Korea for Manchester. The Grundrisse reads like intellectual tit-bits: it infuriates and engrosses in equal measure.
At heart it is still a philosophical anthropology
and it's humanism remains long after it's economism has been (posthumously) demoished.
Recommended for anyone living in America.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
The Rosetta Stone 16 Feb 2006
By A. R. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Grundrisse is perhaps one of the most important additions to Marxian scholarship in the last fifty years and stands as a true Rosetta Stone for deciphering Marx(ist, ian, oid) thought. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy stands as a bridge between the early humanist writing such as the Manifesto and the later scientific Marx as seen in the three volumes of Capital. In this text we see the very beginnings of the scientific critique as well as a brilliant display of Marx as the dialectician that forces the astute and serious reader to rethink the engagement between Marx and Hegelian thought. This work has seriously challenged what I thought I knew about Marx and has sent me into a deep reflection on Hegel. This work is a must read for those serious about engaging critically the works of a Karl Marx.
58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Critical Reading 28 April 2000
By Christopher D. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Unlike many other works, the Grundrisse exposes in more obvious ways Marx's dialectical thought. The Introduction should really be read as a great antidote to the 1859 Preface to a Critique of Political Economy, which gave us the base-superstructure analogy. The weakest link in Marx's though may very well be found there. The Grundrisse Introduction starts from the point of view of class struggle, whereas there is no place for the class struggle as the driving force in the base-superstructure schema.
Also, Grundrisse starts in a different place from Capital. There is a reason for this, and a good discussion of this can be found in the writing of Raya Dunayevskaya and a counter discussion can be found in Roman Rosdolsky. The choice to eventually shelve the organization of the Grundrisse for the organization of Capital flows in part from the changes in the intervening years, most notably the U.S. Civil War.
Real life constantly shaped Marx's thinking, hardly fitting the representation we commonly get of him from ideologues and capital's priests (economists). As a result, Grundrisse also has serious limitations in its understanding of the logic of capital. Basing the entire understanding of Marxism and capital on Grundrisse leads to the kind of mistakes made by Italian Autononmist Marxism, esp. Antonio Negri, who find themselves engaged in a very subjectivist understanding of capitalism. A useful, but sympathetic, antidote can be found in Werner Bonefeld and John Holloway's writings.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A classical of marxian economic thought 20 April 2000
By Antonio Tiago Santos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a sketch of what would become, a couple of years later, the author's masterpiece: Das Kapital. It was written in an intense effort during revolutionary agitations in Europe, such hard work had as goal to show the inherent contradictions of capitalism and the way it would soon collapse. Well, capitalism did not collapse then and did not so far, but this book remains a classic in the critique of classical political economy. It is indded shorter than Das Kapital, and in parts not as mature as, but it has the advantage of providing discussion on themes not discussed elsewhere in marxian works. Thus, the most famous part of Grundrisse are its Introduction and the part on "Pre-capitalistic modes of production". A must for anyone who wish to get acquainted with marxian thought.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Tough but Worthwhile 12 May 2002
By Costas Foren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A collection of seven notebooks on capital and money, drafted during the winter of 1857-8, exploring the themes and theses that dominate his later writings, including Marx's own version of Hegel's dialectics, and thoughts on alientation. While not as sophisticatedp--or lengthy--as Das Kapital, it remains a "must read" for anyone interested developing a sophisticated understanding of Marxist philosophy.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Only True Marxist Primer for Understanding ' Das Kapital'. 24 April 2007
By Magickal Merlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This economic political classic sets the stage for Marx' masterpiece ,'Das Kapital'.It presents the Marxist view of economic labor theory and other radical issues concerning the public socialization of capitalistic economies.After reading this interesting monetary classic,I felt as if socialism can only compliment capitalism and never completely replace it.There needs to be a constant flux of balance between the two systems.During the days of the Industrial Revolution,the shift and focus was on absolute capitalism,unrestrained by indifferent royalists.After the the Russian Revoltion,the emphasis was on a centrical labor socialist oligarchy,with no blue-blood royalist tax restrictions.Under the reforms of Boris Yeltsin ,Russia moved to a more capitalist system ,in which some business gamblers lost everything.Putin has moved Russia back to a more centralised economy and perhaps refining the previous economic blunders of the Soviet Era.This book will help nuture a budding economics thinker by offering more philosophical avenues of free-thought and political choice.
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