Thursday, April 07, 2011

Marx’s Das Kapital – A Biography by Francis Wheen

This superb little book is exactly what the title indicates – the gestation, birth and afterlife of Kapital. Of course, to tell such a story Wheen usefully contextualizes both ideas and personal circumstances. We learn of Marx’s vast knowledge base and literary explorations, his continued health problems and mostly dismal living conditions. The book is well-written and the audio version I experienced was well-spoken. On more than one occasion I thought, “What an excellent phrasing!” and other content was dryly humourous as well. Wheen seems balanced in his assessment and even in his pointed critiques of Marx and others.
Highly recommended for those with an interest in the topic.


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