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In the wake of Communism's collapse in Eastern Europe, one of today's foremost interpreters of Marx's texts and ideas offers postmodern readings of canonical texts to discover what Marx has to say to our postmodern condition. Terrell Carver takes advantage of the ideological release of Marxism from its association with Soviet Communism to explore how Marx's writings can be reread in the spirit in which they were written: as a critique of capitalist society.
Employing textual and narrative analysis developed within postmodernism, Carver carefully examines Marx's language—and the language around Marx—to arrive at a reassessment that is free from the restraints of past dogma. He addresses ways in which Marx is changing: which texts are read, how hermeneutics and deconstruction have altered our reading of them, and trends toward viewing Marx not simply as a revolutionary or an economist but as a political thinker whose insights are relevant to current debates over free markets and mixed economies.
Carver first leads readers through a new, detailed examination of Capital. He then explores Marx's relationship with the socialism of his contemporaries, critiques translations of Marx, examines works written with Engels, considers Marx's relationship to Hegel, and applies Marx's thought to issues of gender.
These re-readings convey the importance of continuing to engage Marx's thought and show that there is more to Marx than we might ever hope to discover. It is a lucid and provocative work that liberates Marx's ideas for what they can contribute to a fresh evaluation of our present political milieu.
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Terrell Carver is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, England. He is the author of Marx and Engels: The Intellectual Relationship (Indiana, 1985) and co-editor of Rational Choice Marxism (Penn State, 1995).Review:
“It is always a pleasure to find a work that, while at first glance, may be simply going over old ground, dearly rewards readers by challenging them to think about their most basic assumptions on a subject, exposes them to the latest scholarship, makes the work of Marx come alive with a new vitality, and helps the reader to encounter Marx’s work on its own terms and not as the final culmination or degeneration of someone else’s project.”
—B. Ricardo Brown, Critical Sociology
“Readers of the collection will be exposed to a wide range of the most interesting issues being discussed in Marx studies today. And whether they are beginning students or specialists, readers are likely to come away thinking that Marx and Carver both have important contributions to make to contemporary debates in social theory. That is no small achievement.”
—Tony Smith, International Studies in Philosophy
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