Top 10 Books of Karl Marx
Karl Marx, a German philosopher, economist, and writer, was the biggest supporter of communism and thus called the Father of Communism. Learn about Marx’s theories on communism, capitalism, historical materialism, wage workers, alienation, and much more from the following list of top 10 books.
- The Communist Manifesto ( Get this book )
- Capital (German: Das Kapital) ( Get this book )
- Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 ( Get this book )
- Grundrisse ( Get this book )
- Selected Writings ( Get this book )
- The German Ideology ( Get this book )
- Wage Labour and Capital ( Get this book )
- A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy ( Get this book )
- The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte ( Get this book )
- The Poverty of Philosophy ( Get this book )
Let us discuss each of these books in detail, along with its key takeaways and reviews.
#1 – The Communist Manifesto
The book, as the title suggests, is the manifesto of the communist party, which was compiled by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx criticizes communism and challenges the communist party to express their ideologies; he said: “It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.”
- When relationships between government and citizens are no longer well-suited, a revolution happens, and a new ruling class takes power.
- The major beneficiaries of the movement from feudalism to capitalism were the urban middle-class people and rich peasants.
- The laborers were the major sufferers.
- Learn about the progression from capitalism to socialism and from socialism to communism.
#2 – Capital (German: Das Kapital)
The book is another acclaimed work by Karl Marx in which he closely analyzes the capitalist mode of production in England. England was the most advanced industrial society of his times, and he all these times highly criticizes the capitalist methods.
- Marx elaborates on the relationship between a commodity’s value and its social dimension.
- Marx reveals the economic patterns underpinning the capital model of production.
- Wage labor system in the capitalist model
#3 – Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
The book is a series of notes and essays written by Karl Marx during the period of 1844. These notes are basically an expression of Marx’s analysis of economics. The book covers a wide range of topics like communism, capitalism, private property, alienation, and much more as Marx sees them, but it could not be published during his lifetime.
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- Marx argues that modern industrial societies isolated wage workers.
- Observe Marx’s analysis of economics.
- Marx says workers rely on labor work to gain money to be able to live, but actually, they are not living but just surviving.
#4 – Grundrisse
Foundations of Critique of Political Economy
The book is a wide-ranged subjective manuscript that covers all the six sections of Marx’s economics. It is a lengthy and unfinished collection of documents which is also described as a rough draft of Das Kapital (English: Capital)
- The subject matter of the book includes concepts like production, distribution, etc.
- Observe these methodologies from Marx’s point of view.
- Get to know the reason behind his criticism against the capitalist model.
#5 – Selected Writings
The book is a reflection of Marx’s life in chronological order. It nearly includes all of Marx’s works and contains strategically assembled extracts from a wide range of political, philosophical, and economic thoughts of Marx. However, the book is not written by Karl Marx himself, but Professor David McClellan assembled the greatest works of Marx’s into a single book
- Extracts from some of Marx’s well-known work.
- The reader gets the feeling of an unparalleled overview of Marx’s thoughts.
- Includes selected work from ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Capital.’
#6- The German Ideology
The book is a collection of manuscripts written by Karl Marx and Freindrich Engels. However, their work belongs to the period of 1846, but since they were not able to find any publisher; hence this work of them was first published in 1932.
- Marx and Engels clear their position on materialism, labor, production, alienation, etc.
- They visualize the course of true socialism based on dialects of Hangel.
- Marx criticized the views of various economic ideologists of his period like Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner.
#7 – Wage Labour and Capital
The book is an outstanding essay that is based on basic economic concepts but has deep Karl Marx’s ideology. The book is considered as a precursor to his masterpiece named Das Kapital (Eng: Capital).
- Marx put aside his materialistic conceptions of history and starts showing scientific rationale on his ideas of alienated labor.
- Capitalism would eventually lead to the proletarian revolution.
- A proletarian is a member of the wage earner class in a capitalist society. Their only material possession is just their labour power
#8 – A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
The book analyzes the economic model of capitalism and the quantity theory of money. Through this book, Karl Marx criticizes the writings of the leading theoretical exponents of capitalism.
- Marx exposed the inherent contradictions of capitalism.
- He tries to attack free-market capitalism.
- Marx was not working within the tradition of the great classical economists.
#9 – The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
The book is an essay that discusses the French coup o f1851 in which Louis Napoleon Bonaparte assumed dictatorial powers. The book shows Karl Marx as a social and political historian.
- Marx treated actual historical events from the viewpoint of his materialist conception of history.
- Experience the dictatorship of Napoleon.
- The struggle of French people during the revolution period.
#10 – The Poverty of Philosophy
Karl Marx answers the economic and philosophical arguments made by French anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon set forth in his book ‘The System of Economic Contradictions’ and ‘The Philosophy of Poverty’.
- Marx rejects the ideas of Proudhon on consumption, tax, and denial of strike actions.
- He also criticizes the philosophical arguments of Proudhon.
- The book deals with the concepts of Economics.
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