Karl Marx was the first theorist of global capitalism and remains perhaps its most trenchant critic. This clear and innovative book, from one of the leading contemporary experts on Marx's thought, gives us a fresh overview of his ideas by framing them within concepts that remain topical and alive today, from class struggle and progress to democracy and exploitation.
Taking Marx's work in his pamphleteering, journalism, speeches, correspondence and published books as central to a renewed understanding of the man and his politics, this book brings both his life experience and our contemporary political engagements vividly to life. It shows us the many ways that a nineteenth-century thinker has been made into the 'Marx' we know today, beginning with his own self-presentations before moving on to the successive different "Marxes" that were later constructed: an icon of communist revolution, a demonic figure in the Cold War, a 'humanist' philosopher, and a spectre haunting Occupy Wall Street.
Carver's accessible and lively book unpacks the historical, intellectual and political difficulties that make Marx sometimes difficult to read and understand, while also highlighting the distinct areas where his challenging writings speak directly to the twenty-first-century world. It will be essential reading for students and scholars throughout the social sciences and anyone interested in the contemporary legacy of his revolutionary ideas.