Making Sense of Marx (Studies in Marxism and Social Theory) Paperback – 9 May 1985
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'Making Sense of Marx is splendid; it is endlessly ingenious, inventive and imaginative; it is built on apparently inexhaustible reserves of textual scholarship; it is written in sober, lucid and careful prose; and it tackles issues whose intrinsic interest is undeniable. Making Sense of Marx is a monument to patience, open-mindedness, intellectual scrupulousness and straightforward intelligence.' Alan Ryan, The Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
Jon Elster is Professor and Chaire de Rationalite et Sciences Sociales at the College de France. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, he is a recipient of fellowships from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, among many others. Dr Elster has taught at the University of Chicago and Columbia University and has held visiting professorships at many universities in the United States and in Europe. He is the author and editor of thirty-four books, most recently Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective, Elementary Social Science from an Advanced Standpoint, and Retribution and Restitution in the Transition to Democracy.
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Top Customer Reviews
Value theory is one of the things where Jon Ester took a "modernized" view, but is that modern any more?
It would be feasible that some kind of "dualism" akin to Bohrs wave-particle dualism in theorethical physic would be the best model.
No doubt Karl Marx and the historical context where he was writing is becoming more and more popular again. This book of Elsters is important.
Trend of decreasing profits in capitalism was not supposed to be true in real life. I recommed to read a short article of
Dietmar Peetz and Heribert Genreith: "The financial sector and the real economy"
real-world economics review, issue no. 57, 6 September 2011, pp. 40-47,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Analytical Marxism -- the now largly moribund movement of which Elster was a founder -- has a lot to offer the understanding of Marx, but like some its advocates, Elster went overboard in getting rid of too much of Marx that did not fit his preconceptions -- many of which Marx himself criticizes without adequate recognition or response from Elster. Still, the book is important for serious Marx scholars. General readers might start with Elster's shorter version summarizing Elster's main conclusions -- and complement it with a more sympathetic though no less analytical book like Richard Schmitt's Introduction To Marx and Engels. (Schmitt does not think of himself as an Analytical Marxist.)
Making Sense of Marx was a beautifully portioned book that is hard to praise adequately. With scholarship five feet thick, Elster displays his full range of expertise in this book, bringing into play his vast learning from all the social and dismal sciences. Mostly picking apart Marx's main theories, he deftly displays what I can only call a complete Marxian understanding. The truly refreshing part of this book was its approach: Elster spoke using not philosophical or economic language, but the general social sciences language. I was hard pressed to disagree with any of his main notions, especially his quick and incisive dissections of Marxian notions of diminishing dynamic efficiency and the theory of history. While I am not a strict adherant of rational choice models, he structured the rational choice attacks as such to make them accessible to the non-believer as well. All in all, a perfect little book.
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