by Richard D. Wolff
First Printing November 2018, by Democracy at Work
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-359-46702-0
eBook ISBN: 978-0-359-56158-2
2021 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7356013-3-5
AVAILABLE NOW - 2021 Hardcover with new introduction
Why should we pay attention to the great social critics like Marx?
If you want to understand capitalism in order to make society better, then understanding Marx’s analysis is fundamental in drawing your attention to capitalist production’s core conflict: class struggle. It is everywhere, and it influences everything and everyone in our society. Marx is the theoretician who first explained it systematically. He was a social critic for whom capitalism signified not the end of human history, but the latest phase that badly needed a transition to something better.
Marxism displays a central, crucial focus on the class struggle that both haunts and drives capitalism. Nothing could be more relevant and useful here and now to help us understand and cope with the threatening global capitalism of our times. Indeed, Americans today confront serious questions and evidence that our capitalist system is in trouble and that it clearly serves the 1% far better than the vast mass of the people.
We offer this introductory book now because of the power and usefulness today of Marx’s criticism of the capitalist economic system. This 2021 hardcover edition features a new introduction by author Richard D. Wolff, which strengthens the case for why Marxism is worth understanding. It explains and shares our excitement about the ways in which Marxism helps us to critically rethink capitalism today, and offers new directions for social development beyond and better than the capitalism we have.
“Marxism always was the critical shadow of capitalism. Their interactions changed them both. Now Marxism is once again stepping into the light as capitalism shakes from its own excesses and confronts decline.”
Understanding Marxism was published by Democracy at Work. Professor Wolff generously donated his time and work so that all sales revenue could go to support [email protected]
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Endorsements for Understanding Marxism
“Understanding Marxism is a pro-proletarian primer to help the masses comprehend some of the basics of a complicated worldview, as Wolff identifies some of the capitalist system’s essential contradictions.” - Ed Rampell, L.A.-based journalist
”This is an excellent little book and will be a good read for anyone wanting to introduce themselves to Marx’s key ideas, particularly around the issues of democracy, or to anyone wanting to refresh their understanding.” - Graham Kirkwood, Counterfire
“For someone new to Marxism, Understanding Marxism could be, at first, a flashlight illuminating a pathway through a dark hallway. For someone gaining familiarity with Marxism (possibly the same reader just described, some time later), this book could be a floor plan of the overall layout of the theory’s structure." - Zoe Sherman, Dollars & Sense
Press for Understanding Marxism
October 31, 2021: Interview with The Serf Times
October 21, 2021: Interview on Rising Up with Sonali
Nov & Dec 2019: Review in Dollars & Sense
December 5, 2019: Interview in Thom Hartmann Program
November 21, 2019: Review in Counterfire
June 4, 2019: Review in People's World
March 5, 2019: Interview in Rising Up with Sonali
Discussion Questions for Understanding Marxism