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Marx for Beginners Paperback – 10 Jul 2003
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"A superb little book in a most improbable format....I recommend it unreservedly for anyone who wants the rudiments of Marx from an engaging mentor....Rius on Marx is magnificent. He shows that pictures can amplify ideas, and that simplicity need not forgo subtlety."New York Times Book Review
From the Inside Flap
A cartoon book about Marx? Are you sure it's Karl, not Groucho? How can you summarize the work of Karl Marx in cartoons? It took Rius to do it. He's put it all in: the origins of Marxist philosophy, history, economics; of capital, labor, the class struggle, socialism. And there's a biography of "Charlie" Marx besides.
Like the companion volumes in the series, Marx for Beginners is accurate, understandable, and very, very funny.
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So, if you fancy becoming a communist/socialist, passing your school exams, or winning the pub quiz this is the book for you!!! This book would also suit lazy university students doing the odd essay on globalisation or oppressed McJob workers who can't spend the time to wade through the works of Marx & Engels.
It is quite funny in places too because it was written in the 1970s. The author clearly believed all the world's problems were caused by America as if capitalism didn't exist in Latin American or Eastern European countires. Under a list of "great people inspired by socialism" are, amongst others, the names of Stalin, Tito, and oddly, Gandhi. I never knew the Mahatma was a communist but there you go.
A good read!
This book was actually one of several required readings in a college course I took on the history of socialism. I had to laugh when I first saw the actual book as it looks like a book of cartoons. Don't let the seeming simplicity of the book fool you, though. Rius uses cartoons and tiny bits of comedy in order to make one's introduction to the subject as interesting as possible, and he covers the basics quite well indeed: Marx's philosophy, his economic doctrine, and his concept of historical materialism. This is an increasingly complex triumvirate of concepts. Actual quotations from Marx himself often drop in front of you like a ton of bricks, but Rius uses this building material to construct a humble edifice of understanding and instruction. He especially excels at placing Marx's ideas in their original historical context, summarizing the evolution of society over the years and pointing to the sources from which Marx drew most heavily: German philosophy, English political economy, and French socialism. You may just be skimming the deep waters of Marxism, but before you know it you've actually learned something about what Marx thought and why he thought it. To further help you along, Rius provides a pretty impressive little glossary of terms at the end and offers a few suggestions on the subject of further reading for those who would like to pursue the subject further. Whether you hate him or love him, Marx is important, and Marx for Beginners is the most accessible gateway to his philosophy and economic theories that I know of.
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