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James McPherson has done an extraordinary job of presenting the history of a complex time period, the Civil War era (including the events leading up to the war). While literally tens of thousands of books have been written on this subject, “Battle Cry of Freedom” is unsurpassed in its ability to clearly explain the best current understanding of what took place, in language that will captivate the reader, covering all aspects of the times in just the right amount of detail. The author strikes a careful balance, treating all sides in the conflict honestly and perceptively. The quality of the research that underlies this book is impeccable.
Mao Zedong and China in the 20th Century: A Concise History. From a Review by Tariq Ali: ‘Karl gives admirably succinct accounts of the main tensions and debates that ran through the Maoist period—the opposition between bureaucracy and revolution, disagreements over developmental paths, relations between Party, army and masses. ‘
Blues People (Negro Music in White America) is a seminal study of Afro-American music (and culture generally) by Amiri Baraka, who published it as LeRoi Jones in 1963. In Blues People Baraka explores the possibility that the history of black Americans can be traced through the evolution of their music. It is considered a classic work on jazz and blues music in American culture. This book documents the effects jazz and blues had on America on an economic, musical, and social level.
William Z Foster: Two Classics.
‘Toward Soviet America‘, Foster’s campaign book for his 1932 election, reflects the Comintern ‘Third Period’ line in the U.S. Later, in 1952, Foster wrote his ‘History of the Communist Party USA‘ in an effort to correct a number of errors.
In this brilliantly lucid introduction to Marxist economic theory, Duncan Foley builds an understanding of the theory systematically, from first principles through the definition of central concepts to the development of important applications. All of the topics in the three volumes of Capital are included, providing the reader with a complete view of Marxist economics. Foley begins with a helpful discussion of philosophical problems readers often encounter in tackling Marx.
How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism. Eric Hobsbawn’s 440 page masterwork, the book is divided into two sections.
Part 1 is entitled ‘Marx and Engels’ and consists of ‘Marx Today’, ‘Marx, Engels and pre-Marxian Socialism’, ‘Marx, Engels and Politics’, ‘On Engels’ The Condition of the Working Class’, ‘On the Communist Manifesto’, ‘Discovering the Grundrisse’, ‘Marx on pre-Capitalist Formations’ and ‘The Fortunes of Marx’s and Engels’ Writings’.
Part 2 – ‘Marxism’ – includes ‘Dr Marx and the Victorian Critics’, ‘The Influence of Marxism 1880-1914′, ‘In the Era of Anti-fascism 1929-45′, ‘Gramsci’, ‘The Reception of Gramsci’, ‘The Influence of Marxism 1945-83′, ‘Marxism in Recession 1983-2000′ and finally ‘Marx and Labour: the Long Century’.
Dictionary of Marxist Thought. Tom Bottomore’s 660 page classic is arranged alphabetically by subject/topic and it thoroughly compiles theories, names, authors, terminologies, etc. that are, or have been, significant to Marxism. The bibliographies that trail each article are *excellent* reading lists towards expanding on the concise topical descriptions provided by the book and, in this sense, the book is extremely useful as a directory. The articles can run several pages or several paragraphs, they are well written, meticulously sourced, and intensely focused. This is a useful and practical book for anyone exploring the vast textual side of Marxism.
The Making of Marx’s ‘Capital’. Roman Rosdolsky’s book is a major work of interpretation and criticism, written over fifteen years by one of the foremost representatives of the European Marxist tradition. Rosdolsky investigates the relationship between various versions of Capital and explains the reasons for Marx’s successive reworkings; he provides a textual exegesis of Marx’s Grundrisse, now widely available, and reveals its methodological riches.
PALESTINE: Hundreds of free books. From the Palestine Review: E-Books, found at palestinereview.com/ebooks , provides the largest online library of free ebooks on Palestine, the Palestinians, and Palestinian history available anywhere. Download and read a free ebook on Palestine now!
Capital in the 21st Century. Thomas Piketty’s controversial empirical study linking capital’s growth with growing inequality, and arguing for creating a new social-democratic political space.
Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study by Heather Brown. This is the first book-length study devoted exclusively to Marx’s perspectives on gender and the family, offers a fresh look at this topic in light of twenty-first century concerns. Although Marx’s writings sometimes exhibit sexism his work often transcends these phrases. Brown studies his writings on gender, as well as his 1879-1882 notebooks on precapitalist societies and gender.
This Monstrous War. Wilfred G Burchett’s book on the history of the Korean War, based on his on-the-spot reporting. Excellent background for understanding the ongoing Korean crises today.
Economic Theory of the Leisure Class by Nicolai Bukharin. A classic 137-page work from the early 1900s offering a Marxist critque of the Austian School, the forerunners of today’s neoliberals. Get an overview of Bukharin’s life in this one-hour lecture by Doug Enaa Green HERE
John Brown: A Biography, by WEB DuBois, 1909. A 400-page history of the man and the period, and an early work that took John Brown seriously as an American hero.
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