First published in 1985, Thomas Sowell’s book is a crisp, lucid and commonsensical introduction to Marx’s own writings and to Marxist theory. It combines readability with intellectual rigour and distils more than a quarter of a century of Thomas Sowell’s research and thought on the philosophical and economic doctrines of Karl Marx.
Its central theme is that Marxian philosophy must be understood before Marxian economics can be defined. The book discusses Marx’s ideas, including his philosophy of history, concept of capitalist "exploitation", morality and business cycle theory. The author’s treatment is balanced, though often critical and displays a mastery of Marx’s own writings which are liberally extracted throughout the text.
‘Among the best short accounts of Marxism ever, whatever the reader’s own politics are. I found it a real pleasure to read, clear and tight, full of both common sense and intellectual rigour.’ – Bernard Crick
‘Very readable … The non-Marxist Mr Sowell is distinctly successful in opening up the scope and brilliance of Marx’s very interesting mind.’ – Brigitte Berger, New York Times Book Review
1. Economics and Philosophy 2. The Dialectic Approach 3. Philosophic Materialism 4. The Marxian Theory of History 5. The Capitalist Economy 6. Marxian Economic Crises 7. Marxian Value 8. Political Systems and Revolution 9. Marx the Man 10. The Legacy of Marx