The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism Hardcover – 15 Apr 2010
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A lucid and penetrating account of how the power of capital shapes our world (Andrew Gamble Independent - Book of the Week)
A well-timed call for the overthrow of capitalism ... elegant ... entertainingly swashbuckling (John Gapper Financial Times)
Very eloquent ... with the sort of literary verve and sense of assurance that recall Marx at his very best (Laurie Taylor New Humanist)
Taking a long view of the current economic crisis, eminent academic David Harvey explains how capitalism came to dominate the world and why it resulted in the current financial crisisSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Harvey deals with the current economic crisis in chapter one and gives a clear, concise account of what went wrong and why.
As for the current crisis, that is pretty much it in this book. What Harvey is concerned with is the fact that the current crisis is just the latest of many and Harvey is most concerned with demonstrating that crises are innate and necessary to capitalism.
Harvey presents his re-working and re-theorising of Marx's analysis of 'Capital' to show how capitalism uses crises to reform, renew and revitalise itself. This Harvey accomplishes brilliantly. Harvey explains complex ideas in an easy to understand way.
Harvey theorises that capitalism may have reached a point where it cannot get over crisis and get back to a compound growth rate of 3% PA as the amount of capital that needs to be invested is simply too huge. Hence the growth of the financial sector and financial crises.
This leads to the final section on what the Left should do to tackle the crisis. For capitalism can solve it's problems as long as it makes people pay the price of it's crises: lost jobs, lost pensions, destroyed environment, wrecked public services and vast amounts of capital destroyed in wars.
Harvey argues for a uniting of the Left across a broad range of struggles and across the globe. A necessary yet difficult task. Harvey's focus seems to be to look beyond the traditional labour movements which seems to contradict many of his arguments about how capitalism works - Harvey doesn't seem to see the working class as central to a socialist challenge to capitalism. That may prove contentious. Harvey's book deserves to be widely read and a focus for debates on the Left as to how to respond to the current crisis.
Prior to the events of 2008 and the succession of events that ensue within the Euro-zone I would never have considered reading such a title or such a topic, and I would have been scepitical that any one person could analyze the causes of a crisis, indeed a succession of crises, with such pragmatism and clarity. It is by chance and for unconnected reasons that in the new year of 2009 I began serious contemplation of other and more personal challenges and it was an entirely unexpected result that the direction I followed with regard to that would also yield unconventional insight in regard to economics, not from an aspect of a study of the flow of money, but from an aspect of evolutionary theory as applied to the long term functional evolution and expansion of economic activity. None of this makes me clever or knowledgeable but I do gain some satisfaction from having reasoned along one or two lines of thought and then subsequently finding similar assertions, and many, many more, put forward with aplomb and gravitas by Mr Harvey.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It improves with re-reading, and throws light on the neo-liberal resurgence and financial sector push-back to introduction of post crisis regulation.Published 9 months ago by Ms. P. O'dea
'..socking it to the people for the benefit of big capital has been on the agenda from the right wing and the capitalist class all along. Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2014 by Tracey Madeley
Very informative book!!! You really gain a clear insight into the problems arising from Capitalism. Harvey is quite eloquent and clear in his explanations! Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2014 by Antonina Contocra
David Harvey is one of the greatest living social scientists, and probably the most widely admired and quoted human geographer of all time. Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2014 by Gary White
Reading this feels like galloping over rough terrain on a spirited thoroughbred out of control. The recent financial debacle of 2007-8 inspired Harvey`s analysis of the periodic... Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2013 by Antenna