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The Case for Socialism [Paperback]

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Item description for The Case for Socialism by Alan Maass...

"Vivid and urgent prose."--Jeffrey St. Clair

Mass argues that another world-a socialist world-is possible, one in which people come before profit and working people control society democratically, putting the world's resources to meeting human needs.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2005
Publisher   Haymarket Books
ISBN  1931859094  
ISBN13  9781931859097  

Availability  0 units.

More About Alan Maass

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alan Maass is the longtime editor of Socialist Worker newspaper and the daily Web site He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Historian Howard Zinn is the author of numerous books, including A People's History of the United States.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > History & Theory
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Ideologies > Communism & Socialism

Reviews - What do customers think about The Case for Socialism?

Whiney and chock full of sloppy reasoning  Aug 23, 2008
Maas whines for page after nauseating page about how everything bad in the world is a result of capitalism. He stops just short of blaming it for earthquakes and volcanoes. However, he completely ignores the fact that over the past 200 years, capitalism has brought about unimaginable increases in standard of living, longevity, and prosperity for all, while every attempt at socialism has brought about misery, poverty, and death.
Maass' Destination is Clear but Not His Path  Oct 20, 2007
Maass' critique of modern American capitalism is quite morally compelling. However, like most books of this sort, it is long on the analysis of what the problems are, and too short on the "what is to be done?" issue. Yes, most of us know we're on the wrong path as a society, but how do we find our way to the right one?

Also, Maass decided not to use footnotes to support his conclusions, which will frustrate the reader who wishes to know more about the issues he raises. A small thing I guess, as this book clearly wasn't meant for the academic types, but to me it is Maass' principle shortcoming, as it will frustrate readers who are not well grounded in political and economic theory and its nomenclature.

I'd still recommend The Case for Socialism though.
The Case for Socialism  Sep 23, 2007
I've read quite a few books on socialism and the history thereof, but this one really stands out.

The first three or four chapters go into all the problems with and inequalities which characterize modern American society. While this section of the book is PACKED full of useful and sometimes astounding facts, it's too strongly worded for my taste. The thing that has always turned me off of the "liberal" label is the bleeding-heart aspect of it. If you are the same way, you might want to just skim these chapters, or at least take them with a grain of salt. The author wears his emotions on his sleeve in this part of the book. I actually came close to putting the book down before I got through these chapters.

Then, starting around chapter 5, he launches into the single best explanation of socialism I've ever come across--EVER. Group interests, not empathy; collective action, not top-down reforms; and so on. There's no confusing socialism with mere "extreme liberalism" as you read this part of the book.

This little book (or big tract--however you like to think about it) is the best I've ever come across for (1) introducing the reader to socialism and (2) underscoring it's continued relevance to the modern (post-Soviet, post-labor movement, post-Fukuyama) world. In fact, I've long had a profound respect for socialists, but my perception of them as dogmatists and closet authoritarians kept me from actually beginning to identify myself as one. The Case for Socialism is the book that threw me over to the other side.

Chapter 6--"If There is No Struggle, There is No Progress"--is, by itself, worth double the asking price of the book. It makes a strong case against the Democratic Party, a strong case FOR direct action/agitation, and persuasively argues the centrality of labor struggles among the long list of important social struggles. I anticipate photocopying this chapter for many people in the future.

Thanks, Maass.
Excellent traditional pamphlet and introduction  Jul 6, 2007
This small and easily readable book is a good introduction. Some of the other criticisms are fair but I know of no more straightforward introduction. After this there are many documented books you can read -the author even starts the journey with "further reading " recommendations. Stop procrastinating, get it, enjoy a good weekend's reading and who knows you may even like some of the ideas.
Very good piece of work!  Mar 15, 2007
I enjoyed this book very much, it laid down the problems that occur because of the capialist mode of production. However, he does not use footnotes and does not cite sources. (This is the reason for the 3 star rating)
The ultimate goal of this book (in my opinion) is to create a dialogue about the problems of capitalism and the ultimate solution.

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