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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Student Edition
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...
Published on 29 Aug 2008 by J. Preston

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abridged!
'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...
Published on 6 Aug 2007 by David T. Lesser


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Student Edition, 29 Aug 2008
By 
J. Preston (West Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (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 (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (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. By acknowledging these as historicised, constructed, and thus changeable, and by asking in whose interest they were first formed and continue to exist, he has paved the way for so many of the influential thinkers of the C20th (Lukacs, Williams, Hall, Barthes, Foucault, Kristeva, Cixous, Irigiray et al.).

This is abridged but for most students at an undergraduate level it's the first chapter which is most important and that is given here in full. If you want, or need, to read the text in full, the C.J. Arthur text is available online from [...]
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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
This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (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
This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (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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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 6 Mar 2013
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this was well packed arrived on time and being a course book was very helpful being able to rely on the site
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5.0 out of 5 stars A useful (abridged) edition of perhaps THE key text by Marx and Engels, 13 May 2011
This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
As other reviews point out, this is an abridged edition, containing only a few sections from the complete original. The introduction explains that this is because much of the original is considered largely irrelevant in that it consists of detailed critique of a set of German thinkers whose works and ideas did not stand the test of time, regardless of Marx's critique, and with whom many contemporary readers will not be familiar.

However, the sections which are included here offer one of the clearest, most accessible and most plausible accounts anywhere in the Marx-Engels oeuvre of the the most radical social-political-economic theory and practice of at least the last two hundred years. The book moves from the 'first premises of the materialist method' (essential reading for those who mistakenly understand Marx as 'reductionist' or excessively focused on 'economics': this section begins from basic logical assumptions about life itself rather than some cold, calculating 'economic' - in the vulgar sense in which the word is generally understood - method), to the notion of ideology as a dominant intellectual force working in the material interests of the ruling class.

If you have struggled with Capital, but found the Communist Manifesto too cursory an introduction, the German Ideology may be the perfect text to begin to understand the central tenets of Marxism in a depth no textbook could afford you.

Highly recommended!
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grim Stuff, 17 May 2010
By 
Michael Cater (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The German Ideology: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy (Paperback)
This is a pretty dismal read. I was forced to buy it as part of my degree, and it is a plodding, dated, hard to consume volume containing little of interest. Entertainment value is nil.

Let's be clear; it's a good, well presented student edition, and more importantly is a good price. However, if you are not forced to read it I highly recommend you find something more interesting instead - it shouldn't be difficult.
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