This book introduces Marx as a political philosopher to the 21st-century reader. Equal parts comprehensive, accessible, and engaging, it presents an unconventional reinterpretation of class struggle. Maffettone sheds light on Marx the individual, the intellectual, the political leader and icon, and links his lasting legacy to contemporary theories of justice.
As one of the most prominent intellectual presences in history, Marx should not be read as a theorist of communism and socialism. Rather, he was, is, and shall remains today and remain for the foreseeable future, a radical critic of liberalism and capitalism. Within this innovative interpretive framework, he must be kept absolutely present in the analysis of contemporary politics. Under such premise, the volume explores Marx’s life, his thoughts, his most important writings, his works on historical materialism and economic theory with a focus on concepts of labor, commerce, capitalism, and surplus. The book also includes discussions on the Manuscripts of 1844, the Manifesto of 1848, and a brief critical summary of Capital.
A truly definitive work on the "phenomenon" that is Marx, this critical introduction will be of immense interest to scholars and researchers of political science, modern history, cultural studies, social anthropology, political philosophy, critical theory, justice, and economics, as well as appeal to the general reader.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Marx: The individual and the intellectual 2. Marx: main ideas 3. Early years and the birth of communism 4. Historical materialism and the critique of the economy 5. Final remarks. Bibliography
Sebastiano Maffettone is an Italian philosopher and public intellectual. He is currently Professor of Political Philosophy and Director of the Ethos Observatory, a research center focusing on public ethics at LUISS University Business School in Rome, Italy, where he teaches political philosophy and history of political thought. Professor Maffettone is President of the Fondazione Giordano Bruno and has been a member, president, and director of a number of prestigious institutions and research programs. After specializing in social philosophy at the London School of Economics (LSE), among other appointments, he has been welcomed as a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, LSE, University of Pennsylvania, Sciences-Po College (Paris), Beijing University, and Mumbai University. Professor Maffettone’s research focuses on the development of an original vision of public ethics within Italy and on international topics of contemporary political philosophy. He also has a vast interest in the philosophy of John Rawls and has produced the Italian translation of A Theory of Justice. He regularly writes for Italian national newspapers, such as Il Corriere della Sera and Il Sole 24 ore.