36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A useful development of Marx's critique of capitalist political economy,
This review is from: Limits to Capital (Paperback)
This is a very good, comprehensive book - that aims to 'bring together' the main theories originally advanced by Marx, in "Capital" (vol. 1-3), and at the same time develop this critique of capitalist political economy by situating it in a more contemporary context.
It is today considered unfashionable by orthodox social scientists to engage in 'political economy' - rather, the field has divided into the 'political' and 'economic' sciences. This, however, means that broader social questions are left altogether unaddressed - ignored or treated as taken for granted. David Harvey counters this orthodoxy with this detailed and timely book.
He advances a Marxist critique of the political economy of capitalism - engaging with the subject in a manner that is reminiscent of Marx's work itself: examining commodities, value, production, distribution, consumption, surplus value, accumulation, money, and the dynamics resulting from the contradictions inherent in the relations of capital. The title refers, therefore, to the parameters of capital as a social relation - to the limits of this relation, resulting from these inherent contradictions.
Harvey skillfully makes use of the developments in knowledge since Marx's time - and thus aims to bring the Marxist critique up to date. For anyone interested in understanding the political economy of capitalism, this book is an excellent source. For someone just starting one, the text can at times be a little difficult to follow - but this is, unfortunately, one of the features of Marxist analysis. Nonetheless, perseverance pays off - and much can be learnt from this enjoyable book.
I recommend it, especially for students of economics and sociology.