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The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1 Paperback – 4 Nov 2014

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One cannot read the writings of Rosa Luxemburg, even at this distance, without an acute yet mournful awareness of what Perry Anderson once termed 'the history of possibility.' --Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic

Transports us directly into the private world of a woman who has never lost her inspirational power as an original thinker and courageous activist [and] reveals that the woman behind the mythic figure was also a compassionate, teasing, witty human being. --Sheila Rowbotham, Guardian

“Luxemburg’s criticism of Marxism as dogma and her stress on consciousness exerted an influence on the women’s liberation movement which emerged in the late ’60s and early ’70s.” – Sheila Rowbotham, Guardian “One of the most emotionally intelligent socialists in modern history, a radical of luminous dimension whose intellect is informed by sensibility, and whose largeness of spirit places her in the company of the truly impressive.” – Vivian Gornick, Nation

About the Author

Rosa Luxemburg(1871-1919) was a Polish-born Jewish revolutionary and one of the greatest theoretical minds of the European socialist movement. An activist in Germany and Poland, the author of numerous classic works, she participated in the founding of the German Communist Party and the Spartacist insurrection in Berlin in 1919. She was assassinated in January of that year and has become a hero of socialist, communist and feminist movements around the world.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Addition to any Political Library 7 May 2014
By Terence Coggan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Hudis and his colleagues have done a great service to those trapped inside the English language by providing translations of these economic works of Rosa Luxemburg long available only in their original German. The book is well organized, with useful footnotes and a comprehensive glossary of names. Centerpiece of the volume is "Introduction to Political Economy" and transcripts of other lectures Luxemburg gave at the SPD party school in 1909-10. Together these form one of the best introductions to Marxist economics I have ever read. What a privilege it would have been to be one of Rosa's students! As Hudis states in his Introduction, Luxemburg "sought to make Marx's ideas more accessible, not by rephrasing or abbreviating them in a simplified or vulgarized fashion, but rather by elucidating their complexity by showing how they relate to both the emergence and the dissolution of capitalist society".

However I think the reader should be advised that not all of Hudis's commentary is reliable. He states for instance that "One will search in vain to find in her work a discussion of one of the most important Marxian concepts - the fetishism of commodities". But this is not true, as passages in this book show. It will be remembered Marx explained that in any society based on commodity production, we see "nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assume here the fantastic form of a relation between things". In the section of her "Introduction to Political Economy" entitled "Commodity Production", Luxemburg elucidates this brilliantly. She writes "Thus the shoemaker has no connection with society as a human being, only his boots allow him to adhere to society............Commodity production is the condition of life, and a state of society thereby comes into being in which people all lead their particular existence as completely separate individuals, who do not exist for each other, but only through their commodities attain a constantly fluctuating membership of the whole, or again are excluded from membership."
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the First Volume of the "Complete Works of Rosa Luxembourg" 7 Oct. 2015
By Brian Wayne Wells - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a new (2013) volume that represents the first in a series of books that will compose the entirety of the writings of Rosa Luxembourg. Eventually, the complete set of the "Collected Works of Rosa Luxembourg will consist of 14 volumes. The first section of the set will contain all of Rosas Luxembourg's "economic works" while later sections of the set will contain all of her "political works" and her letters. For me, this first volume contains two very important article called "Practical Economics: Volume 2 of Marx's 'Capital'" and "Practical Economics: Volume 3 of Marx's 'Capital.'"

I obtained the three volumes of Marx's masterpiece--"Capital" in 1973. I did my best to read them straight through. Through a prior study of Volume I dating from 1971, I found the first volume of "Capital" to fairly understandable. However, I found the second volume to be much more difficult to read and understand. Beyond that I found the third volume to be even more incomprehensible. Marx writes in a dense and intense manner that makes his style much different from that of his companion Frederick Engels. Frederick Engels was a pamphleteer and wrote in a much more popular style than Marx, which makes Engels' writings much easier to understand upon first impression. I have always had trouble in my repeated attempts to understand Volume 2 and Volume 3 of "Capital," in the years since 1973. However, these two articles by Rosa Luxembourg which are contained in this first book of her "Collected Works" added a great deal to my understanding of Volumes 2 and 3 of "Capital. I note from the "Introduction" by editor Peter Hudis that Volume 2 of this set will offer more articles by Rosa Luxembourg on "Capital." This is why I am looking forward to acquiring the second and all subsequent volumes in this series.
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