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The Communist Manifesto: with an introduction by Yanis Varoufakis (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 26 Apr 2018
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About the Author
Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece and the author of several international bestselling books. And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability reveals the underlying problems that led to the Eurozone crisis and its ongoing catastrophic mishandling. Adults In the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment is an explosive memoir that reveals what goes on behind the scenes in Europe's corridors of power. Talking To My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism (forthcoming) explains through vivid stories and easily graspable concepts what economics actually is and why it is so dangerous in the form of a letter to his teenage daughter. Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered government and is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens. Since resigning from Greece's finance ministry he has co-founded an international grassroots movement, DiEM25, campaigning for the revival of democracy in Europe and speaks to audiences of thousands worldwide.
yanisvaroufakis.eu / @yanisvaroufakis
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The book is very compact and concise. It presents the basic elements of the authors' economic and political views first and foremost, then goes on - as somewhat understandable for a political manifesto - into how the communist party differentiates itself from various other left wing political groupings and why it is the right choice to back.
It does not have the space to expound the economic theory of Marx and Engels in much detail and frankly, the general readership of the day was probably just as little interested as is the case for currently novel economic theories and today's public.
One reason why I would also recommend everyone to take the half an hour's time to read the book is that many of the 'negatives' always implied or associated with communism simply have no basis in the Manifesto - i.e. they are not advocated or often not mentioned at all. As such the book can form a first step towards a better and more balanced understanding of the economic theories behind communism, as dated as they may be from today's perspective.
If you then want a really first rate analysis in the next step, Heilbronner's Heilbroner Marxism - for and against is a must read (as is his The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (Penguin Business Library) for an overview of the development of economic thinking). It is a work of an expert rather than an ideologue, so it can point out the failures as well as the qualities in a balanced fashion.
In any case, irrespective of your politics, I personally find the book should be read, if nothing else, to properly understand the real arguments, as opposed to the endlessly regurgitated half-truths and misrepresentations that are only natural for a - from a Cold War perspective - hostile ideology.
For the price you can't complain, just be careful as the book can curl quite easily.
Have you gone like the snow of last winter
Will only the rivers run free.
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