Thursday August 28th, 2014, 9:05 am (EDT)

CHOICE: "Essential" Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital

An Introduction to Marx's Capital

An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital

by Michael Heinrich; translated by Alexander Locascio

Reviewed in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

This is an extraordinary book. Many volumes set out to explain the work of Karl Marx. A good number of these denounce him, but many sympathetic publications offer competing analyses of what he really meant, often flowing out of narrow sectarian interpretations. Heinrich’s greatest contribution comes in the first half of this surprisingly readable book, in which he carefully lays out the logic of how Marx constructed his work. A good example is Heinrich’s exposition of Marx’s theory of money, a part of Capital that is often treated somewhat superficially, probably because it seems a bit long-winded compared to the rest of Capital. Heinrich clearly integrates this material in his larger project of emphasizing Marx’s unique analysis of the formal social relations of every aspect of the organization of capitalism. The author’s objective might sound to some degree mysterious or obtuse, but this work is extraordinarily clear. Readers will appreciate the way he avoids sectarian disputation. The only volume that comes close to what Heinrich offers is David Harvey’s A Companion to Marx’s Capital (CH, Oct’10, 48-0989). Heinrich’s book deserves a very high recommendation because it is accessible to undergraduates yet will be valuable even to serious Marx scholars. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduate through faculty and research collections. — M. Perelman, California State University, Chico