Item description for The Meaning of Marxism by Paul D'amato...
"In [D'Amato's] able hands, Marxist politics come alive and leap before us, pointing a way toward a better world. It's a knockout."-Dave Zirin, author of What's My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States
In this lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx, with historical and contemporary examples, D'Amato argues that Marx's ideas of globalization, oppression, and social change are more important than ever.
Paul D'Amato is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review. His writing has appeared in CounterPunch, Socialist Worker, and SelvesandOthers.org. He is an activist based in Chicago.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher Haymarket Books
ISBN 1931859299 ISBN13 9781931859295
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul D'amato
Paul D'Amato is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review. His writing has appeared in CounterPunch, Socialist Worker and Selves and Others. He is an activist based in Chicago, IL.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Meaning of Marxism?
Concise May 8, 2008
This is a clear and concise overview of Marxism. It breaks down the major thoughts of the ideology and presents them in an understandable manner.
This is fantastic book for college students, particularly those who will be presenting research or essays that include Marxism as a topic or thesis. The most difficult concepts of Marxism, such as dichotomy, are easily understood by the manner in which D'Amato has presented them.
In truth, the ideas within this book, as they are presented, has made this book a citation treasure trove for presenting key arguments within several of my essays. The logic that is laid out can be used to analyze a number of historical, cultural, and socio-political topics in a relative manner.
The perfect study guide for an introduction to Marx and Engels Oct 30, 2007
Paul D'amato takes the classical works of Marx and Engels (Capital, Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology, and others) and selectively quotes the trenchant passages and then parses and elaborates their meaning with simple (but not simplistic) explanations. For an example early in the book:
"Greed and selfishness are not the result of bad individual choice, but are engendered by the competitive and profit driven nature of capitalism. A capitalist who is not greedy for profit is a capitalist who will lose out to his more greedy competitors. The problem with the notion that it is only necessary to change people's ideas in order to change society is that this leaves the social structure of society intact. `This demand to change consciousness amounts to a demand to interpret the existing world in a different way, i.e., to recognize it by means of a different interpretation,' Marx wrote of some German idealists of his day. In doing this `they are in no way combating the real existing world,' but are `combating solely the phrases of this world.' The materialist view is exactly the opposite. Morals are derived from particular forms of human social organization. Capitalism breeds greed, not vice versa. In societies that foraged for food and shared it as a collective, greed was frowned upon because it disrupted the functioning of the group." [Page 26]
That short paragraph explained Marx's views arguably better than did Marx himself! Marx's explanation of the same phenomenon takes up thirteen pages in the original text. I truly wish that the political science professors and graduate assistants who taught me Marxist political economy in college had had D'amato's book on their reading list or even used it as the principal text; it's that good.
Good overview Aug 1, 2007
This book is written by a dedicated Marxist-Leninist. I am most definitely not one (though I have sympathy for the Marxist critique of capitalism). However, not being one to judge a person by her or his political convictions, I gave this book a look when I saw it in a university library bookstore. It was actually quite well-written, and I ended up buying it. I'm about 100 pages in, and I have to say, it's not a bad book at all for introducing the thought of Marx and Engels (plus some Lenin, but not TOO much). The author also quotes several non-Marxist anthropologists, sociologists and economists to make his points, so he's definitely a well-read guy. Although I'm not done with the book, I'd recommend it. There isn't a whole lot of emotional rhetoric, as you might fear; there's only a clear, straightforward, sophisticated (yet easy-to-understand) presentation of Marxist ideas. So if you are interested in understanding the ideas of classic social thinkers like Marx, but don't have the time or inclination to suffer through their dense original works, then for Marx I'd say this book is not a bad choice for an intro.
If you want some original Marx, a very good place to start is Karl Marx on Society and Social Change: With Selections by Friedrich Engels (Heritage of Sociology Series), edited by Neil Smelser.
A Tremendous Book Apr 20, 2007
This book truly blew my mind. What did I know about Marxism before reading this? Not a lot. Now I feel ready to take on the world
It's a blend of explanation of philosophy and politics with links to contemporary issues Mar 6, 2007
There are plenty of philosophical and political guides to the ideals of Marx, but few which draw the connections between ideals, politics and social issues as does The Meaning of Marxism. It's a blend of explanation of philosophy and politics with links to contemporary issues, and provides a survey of just how Marxism was to transform the world. Chapters provide the perfect introduction for students from high school to college levels who are new to Marxist thinking and who wish to relate Marxism with contemporary social and political perspectives.