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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 16 Sept. 2012
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy (Pelican) (Paperback)
This is one of those books which should be set reading for anyone with an interest in either history or politics. Marxism has been out of fashion in Europe for a while now, but it is foolish to discount the influence of his work on political thought, economic theory and our perception of history. Here there is a splendid, easily understood introductory section, then a carefully edited selection of key texts.

Part One deals with the understanding of history and social structure. Part Two looks fairly briefly at "pre-capitalist societies". Part Three covers the "Sociology of Capitalism" and will contain much that will surprise and interest readers, whether they are unfamiliar with the subject matter or bring to it pre-conceived ideas. Parts Four and Five cover the revolutionary writings which most readers will associate with the idea of Marxism.

"Capital" is a mammoth work and one which is likely to daunt all but the most highly motivated; here extracts bring you the gist wihout having to plough through the full text. Few people realise (Conservatives least of all) that Marx's economic analysis is today just as much at the core of Conservative policy as it is of left-wing ideas - don't think that because you have no interest in socialist ideology that this book is irrelevant to you.

Together with the other extracts, Bottomore and Rubel make it possible for anyone to have an understanding of how the writings of Mark and Engels have influenced a century and a half of change in the Western world. I recommend it to anyone with an enquiring mind.
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