- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Abridged edition edition (2 Sept. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192838725
- ISBN-13: 978-0192838728
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.8 x 13 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,228,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Capital: An Abridged Edition (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – Abridged, 2 Sep 1999
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About the Author
David McLellan is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Kent. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In fact what is striking is how pertinent this book is even today. Granted things have moved on, and it is no longer 'grim up north' but even a quick consideration makes one realise how our service-industry-fueled economy still holds to most of the same processes as Marx noted all those years ago. Beaudrillard claimed Marx was superseded because consumption has now trumped production, but a read of Capital and a bit of thought soon puts that idea to rest.
It is worth ignoring the suggestions that The German Ideology is a good introduction to Marx, or that Capital is some advanced monolith. It is large, but completely readable; just as readable as Manifesto, only longer. Despite spawning abstruse French theorists, Russian and Chinese revolutions and analysis second only in quantity to the Bible there is nothing to be intimidated about.
For readers buying a copy of Capital to read alongside David Harvey's "A Companion to Marx's Capital" or his phenomenal free lectures I would strongly recommend that you buy the Penguin (unabridged) edition - or both! This was the only version available in my local bookshop when I started and I was desperate to get going so I bit the bullet, with the result that I've spent several hours reading missing sections on a .pdf version of the full text.
In any format, Capital makes for fascinating and world-view affecting reading. Highly recommended.
First up, it has to be noted that this version, the Oxford World Classics range, is an abridgement. Marx originally intended for his magnum opus to be 5 volumes, but he only finished volume 1. Volumes 2 and 3 were substantially complete at the time of his death, finished off and published by Friedrich Engels. The volume being reviewed contains most of volume 1, a tiny bit of volume 2 and some slightly longer extracts from volume 3. I don't normally read abridged versions, but it was not my intention to become a disciple of Marx, but rather to understand his thoughts so that I could have a more informed view of what Marx thought.
Marx begins with a detailed look at the nature of commodities: what are they are how they are valued. He distinguishes between different kinds of values. It's important to keep these in mind throughout, as use-value is a different beast to exchange-value, yet we all too easily think of "value" as though it were one thing represented on a price tag. The example Marx starts with is that of a coat and of linen. A coat may be exchanged for 20 yards of linen. Yet the use-value of a coat is not the same as the use-value of 20 yards of linen, for they are intrinsically different and serve different purposes. So use-values cannot be used for comparison. Instead, we need to then consider exchange-values. So a coat may be exchanged for 20 yards of linen or for a quantity of coal or for any other commodity. But then all we have are a set of relative exchange-values expressed, essentially, in terms of barter. One may choose any one commodity to be the standard by which all others are measured.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good publication by Oxford World's Classics, Karl Marx was tops, concise explanatory and brilliant.Published 21 months ago by Guilherme
Pretty difficult to read, and a lot of content still that can go... but ultimately refreshing and rewarding, as it gives you a very different take on the world with a logic hard to... Read morePublished 24 months ago by David
I wanted to decide for myself whether Marx was a visionary economist, philosopher of the industrial age, or windbag obscurantist. Read morePublished on 6 Sept. 2013 by Kester
This edition of "Capital" contains the original English translation of Volume One - and it is an excellent translation which I prefer to the one in the Penguin edition. Read morePublished on 27 July 2012 by P. Webster
Interesting from a historical point of view. Also interesting to understand where the communist/socialist lines of thought get the majority of their inspiration from (although Marx... Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2011 by Frank Daelemans
Karl Marx's technical masterpiece painstakingly, and often dramatically, roots out the causes of social and economic inequality. Read morePublished on 29 April 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
This edition of "Capital" contains the original English translation of Volume One - and it is an excellent translation which I prefer to the one in the Penguin edition. Read morePublished on 7 Feb. 2011 by P. Webster
Marxism is often held out to be the opposite of Capitalism. However, upon reading this mighty attempt at an economic sociology you will conclude that, since its subject is labour... Read morePublished on 23 May 2010 by Spin
Tried reading this when I was an idealistic young socialist in the 60's. Found it very difficult then so almost a lifetime later I read it again but this time going for the... Read morePublished on 13 Sept. 2009 by Craddock Edwards from Bristol
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