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The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy [Student Edition] [Paperback]

Karl Marx , Friedrich Engels , Christopher John Arthur
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1987
This edition makes easily accessible the most important parts of Marx's and Engels's major early philosophical work, The German Ideology, a text of key importance for students.

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The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy + Capital: Volumes One and Two (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) + The Communist Manifesto (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd; Student Manual/Study Guide edition (1 Jan 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853152179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853152170
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
As we hear from German ideologists, Germany has in the last few years gone through an unparalleled revolution. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Student Edition 29 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
It's flagged as a 'student edition', and as such it's ideal. The entire original book, after all, runs to 700 pages in some editions, and most of that comprises detailed critiques of several 'young Hegelians'. These figures aren't of much interest any more.
Here, though, Christopher J. Arthur has done an excellent job of selecting the essential and most interesting parts of the book (together with a couple of smaller, related but important texts). So unless you're a paid-up full-time scholar of either Marxism or the young Hegelians, this is the edition you need.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abridged, but contains the full first chapter 26 Jan 2012
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Written a couple of years before The Communist Manifesto, Marx here takes issue with the 'Young Hegelians' and their understanding of history as fate, as abstraction, and the idealist ideas of some kind of absolute 'human spirit'. Instead, he argues that 'history' is the sum total of social activities, structures and relations - that we all exist in history and that nothing is, or can be, outside it. He thus places the control of history firmly in the hands of all of us, making us agents, rather than victims of some externally-derived fate.

Man (and woman, of course), the essence of the human is, for Marx, shaped by the material conditions in which s/he lives - conditions which are not pre-ordained, 'natural' or immutable, but which are socially and historically-constructed and which can, therefore, be challenged, resisted and overturned.

This isn't an easy read, especially since it assumes a prior understanding of the philosophical context against which Marx is situating himself, but it is a hugely exhilerating one. Whatever your political views, Marx is so crucial to modern thought not because of his vision of a 'communist' state, but because he changes the terms of discourse. His analysis, for example of the base (concrete social structures and relations) and the superstructure (the ideas, laws, philosophies, ethics etc. which support and legitimise the base) are the fundamental terms of cultural analysis with which we still work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Ideologies 1 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
I, Melachi ibn Amillar, being a man of wealth and taste, did read Marx and Engels' The German Ideology (1846), or at least as much of it as is provided in C.J. Arthur's student edition of 1970. In it the authors present the view that the ideologies of an historical period are closely linked to its productive processes, though the relationship seems reciprocal to some degree. These ideologies do, however, become treated as though they are inevitable entities in their own right. Therefore men are alienated from the natural relationships between them, and from the true conditions of their labour. This seems obvious nowadays, but was clearly less so in the mid-nineteenth century. The prose is the usual mixture of the extraordinarily impenetrable peppered with brilliant aphorisms. I did not quite understand the emphasis given on "classes" in the creation of ideologies, except as a necessary precursor for Communism. Furthermore, it is not clear to me what he thinks the nature of man would be lacking these controlling ideologies, i.e. either before the division of labour, or after the establishment of Communism. Doubtless more could be written on these topics.... But this is a very interesting, though somewhat difficult,text.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abridged! 6 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
'The German Ideology' is one of the key texts for understanding the evolution of Marx's thought during the 1840s. It is a difficult work which balances theoretical discussion with some of the most barbed critical satire that Marx ever penned, and some knowledge of the work of the 'right' Hegelians is really helpful in following Marx's often complex reasoning.
In spite of these challenges, 'The German Ideology' is a vital and passionate book that does not deserve the heavy-handed abridgement of this edition. You would do much better to read the whole text in another edition (and you would save money as well)!
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