£14.89
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Add to Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £5.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution: The Politics of Social Classes Pt. 2 Paperback – 23 Oct 1998


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£20.00
Paperback, 23 Oct 1998
£14.89
£14.89 £14.92
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution: The Politics of Social Classes Pt. 2 + Critique of Other Socialisms: Critique of Other Socialisms Vol 4 + Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution: War and Revolution: 5
Price For All Three: £37.84

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product details

  • Paperback: 756 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press,U.S.; New edition edition (23 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085345566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853455660
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,002,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Krul on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Hal Draper's extremely long and expansive series "Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution" is definitely the highest point achieved so far in systematic exegesis of the work of Marx (and Engels). Totalling five volumes, a total of almost 3000 pages, Draper has provided the most clear, thorough and readable full overview of the entirety of the political thought of Marx. As a former Trotskyist involved with the Schachtmanites, Draper could be suspected of having a controversial editorial line, but in practice this is only very mildly the case, and he is generally very strict and accurate in sticking to the clear meaning of Marx himself. This is in particular made possible by the great care he takes to provide the historical and intellectual context for Marx' statements on the respective issues, so that it is always clear what Marx intended with his sometimes cryptic or diplomatically phrased letters, notes, and so forth.

This volume is the first volume of the work, titled "State and Bureaucracy", and deals with all Marx & Engels' theories about state, state formation, state autonomy, class rule, bureaucracy, and so forth. Because it is the first in the series, it also contains the series introduction, as well as a sizable overview of the development of the thought of Marx and Engels and their experience before the point where they could be said to have developed Marxism (around the time of The German Ideology). This is also very worthwhile in its own right, because Draper uses his typical thoroughness and wide-ranging knowledge of their works and the historical background to give an enlightening and clear overview of the steps in the intellectual development of these two examples of genius.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Krul on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Hal Draper's extremely long and expansive series "Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution" is definitely the highest point achieved so far in systematic exegesis of the work of Marx (and Engels). Totalling five volumes, a total of almost 3000 pages, Draper has provided the most clear, thorough and readable full overview of the entirety of the political thought of Marx. As a former Trotskyist involved with the Schachtmanites, Draper could be suspected of having a controversial editorial line, but in practice this is only very mildly the case, and he is generally very strict and accurate in sticking to the clear meaning of Marx himself. This is in particular made possible by the great care Draper takes to provide the historical and intellectual context for Marx' statements on the respective issues, so that it is always clear what Marx intended with his sometimes cryptic or diplomatically phrased letters, notes, and so forth.

By coincidence this volume, the second in the series, bearing the title "The Politics of Social Classes" was the first one I read of Draper's total work. As the title indicates, this volume deals in detail with the theory of class, class background, class movement, and so forth. Draper considers systematically the extant statements by Marx and Engels on the various classes relevant to their discussion: first of course the proletariat, its meaning and special status, then the petty-bourgeoisie, their nature and background, the peasantry, the 'mixed classes', the intellectuals (not an economic class but a sociological one that has often been important in Marxist discussions), and the bourgeoisie itself.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Thank you Hal Draper 6 May 2007
By Michael A. Mccarthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This books clarity and precision - two conditions often forgone by writiers in the Marxist theoretical tradition - in no way sacrifice the absolute richness and substance that it presents the reader. In this multi-volume work Draper gives a sweeping assesment of Marx's analysis. But instead of doing it through economic theorems and proofs he does it via an exploration of Marx politics from his times as a young radical democrat to his development into the bearded Moor of communism that we all know so well. Various political and contemporarily relevant questions are engaged in this multi-volume work. In the volume on state and bureaucracy some of the topics that Draper clarifies are rights (on the Jewish Quesion), Marx's particular transition intellectually to the view of the working class as the revolutionary class (its amazing how important Engels was to Marx's thought - often times he is kind of relegated to the background but Draper destroys this misperception), Property, Bonapartism, and so on. Whether you are just becoming a radical, have been for years, or are simply interested in political intellectual history - this is an amazing book that will provdide you will swathes of new information. Read the all the volumes...and if you want to chat with someone about them - email me!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The most thorough Marx exegesis 21 Nov 2008
By M. A. Krul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hal Draper's extremely long and expansive series "Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution" is definitely the highest point achieved so far in systematic exegesis of the work of Marx (and Engels). Totalling five volumes, a total of almost 3000 pages, Draper has provided the most clear, thorough and readable full overview of the entirety of the political thought of Marx. As a former Trotskyist involved with the Schachtmanites, Draper could be suspected of having a controversial editorial line, but in practice this is only very mildly the case, and he is generally very strict and accurate in sticking to the clear meaning of Marx himself. This is in particular made possible by the great care Draper takes to provide the historical and intellectual context for Marx' statements on the respective issues, so that it is always clear what Marx intended with his sometimes cryptic or diplomatically phrased letters, notes, and so forth.

By coincidence this volume, the second in the series, bearing the title "The Politics of Social Classes" was the first one I read of Draper's total work. As the title indicates, this volume deals in detail with the theory of class, class background, class movement, and so forth. Draper considers systematically the extant statements by Marx and Engels on the various classes relevant to their discussion: first of course the proletariat, its meaning and special status, then the petty-bourgeoisie, their nature and background, the peasantry, the 'mixed classes', the intellectuals (not an economic class but a sociological one that has often been important in Marxist discussions), and the bourgeoisie itself. He also deals with the various movements and forms in which they appear, such as trade unions and unionism, Proudhon and his supporters, Bakuninism and anarchism, bourgeois Radicalism, social-democratic reformism and so forth. Even the often ignored lumpenproletariat gets its proper overview.

Draper as always is clear, well-structured and as concise as possible in showing what Marx and Engels wrote about the precise status and meaning of these different groups. One of Draper's strong points compared to many other Marxologists is not just his thoroughness and relative objectivity, but also his great knowledge of the more obscure statements and letters by Marx and Engels, which are often overlooked in favor of the more 'canonical' ones but which can shed more light on the particular meaning of certain terms and ideas. Sometimes this means that there have to be rather long excursa about of themselves less interesting topics such as Lassalleans, Schapper, the fights in the First International, and the like, but often in these contexts Marx and Engels made statements (prompted by the events) that they did not otherwise address in their theoretical works. One of these is the use and meaning of the term "permanent revolution", which Draper analyzes in detail. Although this term has been of great importance for many Trotskyists like Draper for their own interpretation, here also Draper sticks wholly to the text.

Draper's excellent series should not be seen as an invitation to treat the thoughts of Marx and Engels as Holy Writ or as a canon of dogma from which no deviation is possible and upon which nobody can improve. Instead, it should be used as the most expansive existing reliable analysis of Marx's & Engels' thought as such, allowing us to see both where they were right and where they were wrong, and allowing their brilliant minds to inspire us, that we may improve upon their work and understand our own times better. Although Hal Draper did not live to see his series finished, he has done us all a great favor with this life's work.

Volume III deals with the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the title indicates. This book is less good than the other ones, being fairly repetitive and Draper here crosses the line regularly in going into too much detail, with a lot of polemics making the impression of being much ado about nothing. The greater part of the book is taken up by a very long and detailed discussion of the political differences between Marx and the followers of Blanqui, and the way in which the Blanquists like most other socialist sects at the time looked for a dictatorship of the proletariat because they thought the proletariat was the group to bring their particular sect to power, rather than because they supported proletarian class rule.

The author makes it very clear that, although the precise contexts in which Marx & Engels used the term changed over time from the post-1848 period to the period around the Paris Commune, they consistently intended it to mean the rule of the proletariat as a class. This as against the modern conception of dictatorship as a term, which understands it as necessarily a form of arbitrary rule by one individual, whereas Marx & Engels, according to Draper, would have used the meaning that was prevalent in the 19th century: the classical meaning of dictatorship, i.e. being invested temporarily with full powers (regardless of whether it's an individual or a group) in emergency situations, comparable to 'martial law' or 'emergency law' clauses in modern constitutions. Therefore, Draper says, Lenin's argument that it necessarily had to mean arbitrary rule by the leadership of the proletarian party, because that was obviously the meaning of the word "dictatorship", was wrong (although this doesn't necessarily imply Lenin's government as such was illegitimate or anything).

Of itself that doesn't really tell us much practically though - the question what form the class rule of the proletariat should take is not thereby resolved. Draper himself clearly has his own preferences, influenced by his Trotskyist-Schachtmanite background, but those don't really find any more support in the works of Marx & Engels than for example Lenin's interpretation did. It is useful that Draper puts the myth of Marx as a Blanquist to rest, and he shows very well how the threat of "Blanquism" as some sort of big evil was used by reformist socialists against anyone actually revolutionary, but that is a little thin in content for so big a volume. Fortunately, the series continues better with Volume IV.

(Since Amazon thinks II and III are different versions of the same book, I have to edit in my review of volume III here.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The first volume of Hal Draper's great series 4 Dec 2008
By M. A. Krul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hal Draper's extremely long and expansive series "Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution" is definitely the highest point achieved so far in systematic exegesis of the work of Marx (and Engels). Totalling five volumes, a total of almost 3000 pages, Draper has provided the most clear, thorough and readable full overview of the entirety of the political thought of Marx. As a former Trotskyist involved with the Schachtmanites, Draper could be suspected of having a controversial editorial line, but in practice this is only very mildly the case, and he is generally very strict and accurate in sticking to the clear meaning of Marx himself. This is in particular made possible by the great care he takes to provide the historical and intellectual context for Marx' statements on the respective issues, so that it is always clear what Marx intended with his sometimes cryptic or diplomatically phrased letters, notes, and so forth.

This volume is the first volume of the work, titled "State and Bureaucracy", and deals with all Marx & Engels' theories about state, state formation, state autonomy, class rule, bureaucracy, and so forth. Because it is the first in the series, it also contains the series introduction, as well as a sizable overview of the development of the thought of Marx and Engels and their experience before the point where they could be said to have developed Marxism (around the time of The German Ideology). This is also very worthwhile in its own right, because Draper uses his typical thoroughness and wide-ranging knowledge of their works and the historical background to give an enlightening and clear overview of the steps in the intellectual development of these two examples of genius. It may just be a long introduction, but not many writers on the genesis of Marxism have succeeded at even that.

Most of the work concerns, as said, the Marxist theory of the state, its origin, its class background(s), and the question of state autonomy. Draper has a clear and rather original viewpoint here, emphasizing that for Marx it was not at all a problem to speak of a state or bureaucratic power being the ruling power without there being a 1-on-1 correspondence with any particular class supporting it, and that for Marx there was also no need to assume that states necessarily rest on any particular single group of private property owners. In fact, he shows several examples where Marx and Engels referred to states that exercised power over the entirety of society, without the bureaucracy of this state being one that was private property-owning in a meaningful way itself, such as the Chinese imperial bureaucracy and the state in ancient Egypt. In Draper's view, a Marxist analysis of the state and its power must acknowledge the possibility of state autonomy, from the very origins of the state itself on, without considering this contrary to historical materialism. It must also research the material basis of any particular state power by empirically analyzing the specific state of class divisions in a given such society, not by applying the general 'modes of production' scheme as being identical with each successive ruling class having all state power in every society of that mode.

This discussion is particularly important in the context of on the one hand absolutism and its forms, and on the other hand the so-called Asian or Oriental mode of production. Draper in a unique interpretation defends the latter in a way by suggesting that Marx & Engels used the Asian societies as examples of societies where village communes coexisted individually with an autonomous state power over them, which was something that they did not however think unique to Asia, because they also considered it applicable to Russia and the Germanic tribes. 'Asian mode' here then fulfills the same language function as 'Peking man' or the like, an example that the author also uses. An appendix attacking the viewpoints of Karl Wittfogel is also relevant for this discussion and helps dispell some of Wittfogel's confused notions, which have had a great influence on the discussion of this particular term. Nonetheless, I am not fully convinced that Hal Draper's interpretation is right, and even if it is, I still don't see how the concept is salvageable as a useful idea. On the other hand, Draper's purpose in the series is not to defend Marx & Engels (though he does that often) as much as to explain their views as accurately and precisely as possible.

Absolutism, Bonapartism and 'state socialism' (which referred in those days to Bismarck type governments) also get the attention they deserve, and Draper's analysis of Marx's copious writings on Bonapartism is particularly insightful. Of course, Draper's own Trotskyist background comes popping up here and there, because the relevance of Marx's critiques of Bonapartism and 'state socialism' as well as bureaucratic tyranny and stifling are inevitably full of implications for the question of the Soviet Union and its government. Anyone who was active in the Stalin and post-Stalin debates on bureaucratic socialisms etc., like Draper was, from any partisan perspective in it will have this debate too much in mind to entirely avoid anachronistic readings. Still, this doesn't pose too much of a problem as the analysis is generally very solid and can be considered an accurate portrayal of the views of Marx and Engels on the topic. One must keep in mind neither of them had seen anything of the 20th Century and what it would bring, so we will never fully know what they would have thought of it, or what conclusions they would have drawn.

Draper is in this book at his most wittiest and sometimes produces razor-sharp asides, which together with his clearly erudite knowledge of 19th century history and culture make the reading less dry than one might expect. He uses this to good effect, for example when dispelling the old canard of the supposed anti-semitism of Marx based on the usual misreading (or rather not reading) of "On the Jewish Question" and the like, as well as in his short exkursus on Marx' romantic poetry.

Draper's excellent series should not be seen as an invitation to treat the thoughts of Marx and Engels as Holy Writ or as a canon of dogma from which no deviation is possible and upon which nobody can improve. Instead, it should be used as the most expansive existing reliable analysis of Marx's & Engels' thought as such, allowing us to see both where they were right and where they were wrong, and allowing their brilliant minds to inspire us, that we may improve upon their work and understand our own times better. Although Hal Draper did not live to see his series finished, he has done us all a great favor with this life's work.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Product Images from Customers

Search


Feedback