How to Read Marx's Capital

How to Read Marx's Capital

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Capital Volume I is essential reading on many undergraduate courses, but the structure and style of the book can be confusing for students, leading them to abandon the text. This book is a clear guide to reading Marx's classic text, which explains the reasoning behind the book's structure and provides help with the more technical aspects that non-economists may find taxing.

Students are urged to think for themselves and engage with Marx's powerful methods of argument and explanation. Shapiro shows that Capital is key to understanding critical theory and cultural production.

This highly focused book will prove invaluable to students of politics, cultural studies and literary theory.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 125 x 177 x 17.78mm | 249.48g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745325629
  • 9780745325620

Table of contents



Part One: Commodities and Money

1. The Commodity

2. The Process of Exchange

3. Money, or the Circulation of Commodities

Part Two: The Transformation of Money into Capital

4. The General Formula for Capital

5. Contradictions in the General Formula

6. The Sale and Purchase of Labour-power

Part Three: The Production of Absolute Surplus-Value

7. The Labour Process and the Valorisation Process

8. Constant Capital and Variable Capital

9. The Rate of Surplus-Value

10. The Working Day

11. The Rate and Mass of Surplus-Value

Part Four: The Production of Relative Surplus-Value

12. The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value

13. Co-operation

14. The Division of Labour and Manufacture

15. Machinery and Large-Scale Industry

Part Five: The Production of Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value

16. Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value

17. Changes of Magnitude in the Price of Labour-power and in Surplus-value

18: Different Formulae for the Rate of Surplus-Value

Part Six: Wages

19. The Transformation of the Value (and Respectively the Price) of Labour-power into Wages

20. Time-Wages

21. Piece Wages

22. National Differences in Wages

Part Seven: The Process of Accumulation of Capital

23. Simple Reproduction

24. The Transformation of Surplus-Value into Capital

25. The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation

Part Eight: So-Called Primitive ["Originating"] Accumulation

26. The Secret of Primitive Accumulation

27. The Expropriation of the Agricultural Population from the Land

28. Bloody Legislation Against the Expropriated Since the End of the Fifteenth Century. The Forcing Down of Wages by Act of Parliament

29. The Genesis of the Capitalist Farmer

30. Impact of the Agricultural Revolution on Industry. The Creation of a Home Market for Industrial Capital

31. The Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist

32. The Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation

33. The Modern Theory of Colonisation

Suggestions for Further Reading

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About Stephen Shapiro

Stephen Shapiro is Professor of American Literature at the University of Warwick. He is the author of How to Read Marx's Capital (Pluto, 2008) and How to Read Foucault's Discipline and Punishment (Pluto, 2011).
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 30% (3)
4 40% (4)
3 20% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 10% (1)
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