reading lists from other sources
Works by Marx and Engels
- Early Writings (Karl Marx; Livingstone & Benton, eds.) – His early works, such as “Alienated Labour”, “Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right”, “On the Jewish Question”, etc. are in this Penguin edition.
- The Condition of the Working Class in England (Friedrich Engels) – Classic of Engels' early political economy, lively description of, well, the condition of the working class in Manchester and elsewhere in 1844.
- The German Ideology & Theses on Feuerbach (Marx & Engels) – Don't originally belong together but are often combined. First 'Marxist' book, programmatic statement of historical materialism.
- Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx & Engels) – Needs no introduction.
- Preface to a Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy (Karl Marx) – Very brief, abstract, but famous summary of historical materialism. Only half a page.
- Capital (3 vols) (Karl Marx) – Get the Penguin editions. Marx's critique of political economy.
- Socialism: Utopian or Scientific? (Friedrich Engels) – A summary of the Anti-Dühring, classic statement of the significance of scientific socialism.
- The Civil War in France (Karl Marx) – Marx's interpretation of the Paris Commune.
- Critique of the Gotha Programme (Karl Marx) – Programmatic statement of the differences between Marx and Engels' views and those of state-oriented (left) social-democrats.
- The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Karl Marx) – Not as essential perhaps, but a classic of Marx's own history-writing, and therby an example of what he and Engels considered good political history. Many memorable quotes.
- Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (Friedrich Engels) – The Marxist interpretation on the development of German idealism and of Marxist thought out of it.
- The Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State (Friedrich Engels) – An anthropological, historical materialist view of the early societies and the origins of the various structures of oppression and exploitation out of them. Perhaps the first feminist ideas in Marxism also.
- The Dialectics of Nature (Friedrich Engels) – Very rough drafts of a dialectical interpretation of natural science and philosophy of science. Much outdated in its scientific content, but of some value as a demonstration of Marx and Engels' ideas on dialectics. NB: Contrary to many claims, Marx read most of it and gave no indication of disagreeing with its content.
- Grundrisse (Karl Marx) – Again, get the Penguin edition. Marx's drafts, notes, and outtakes for Capital, as well as various musings on technology, political economy, labour, and so forth. Essential for the deeper level grounding.
- Theories of Surplus Value (Karl Marx) – History of economics, in particular the value theories of the classical and pre-classical economists, polemically interpreted by Marx. Of great value for a really thorough understanding of Marx's economic thought, but for most people far too abstract. Definitely not for beginners.
- Marx and Engels on the American Civil War (Marx and Engels) – Sadly no good primary collection is in print, but see http://marxists.org/archive/marx/works/cw/volume19/index.htm
Political Works by major Marxist politicians and secondary literature on the thought of major Marxist politicians
- The Essential Works of Lenin (Lenin; ed. Henry Christman) – Cheap Dover edition of Lenin's main works in their standard English translations. Includes The Development of Capitalism in Russia; What is to be Done?; Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism; State and Revolution. These are Lenin's canonically major theoretical publications on political topics in his own lifetime.
- The Rosa Luxemburg Reader (Rosa Luxemburg; ed. Peter Hudis & Kevin B. Anderson) – Contains all her major works, including a summary of her work on imperialism, The Accumulation of Capital; her polemic with social-democrats, Social Reform or Revolution; her political programme, The Mass Strike, the Political Party, and the Trade Unions; plus her writings on women, on Bolshevism, and on the German revolution.
- On Practice and Contradiction (Mao Zedong; ed. Slavoj Zizek) – Mao's two main early texts on his theory of contradictions and their resolution in political practice. See also On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/testamnt/congress.htm ) and Combat Liberalism (http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_03.htm ).
- Selections from the Prison Notebooks (Antonio Gramsci) – Selection of Gramsci's ideas on hegemony, ideological struggle, politics etc.
- The Revolution Betrayed (Trotsky) – Trotsky's programmatic statements on Soviet society, his opposition to Stalin, and bureaucracy.
- The Permanent Revolution (Trotsky) – Trotsky's views on imperialism, colonialism, and uneven development, foundational for most Trotskyists' views on the subject.
- Lenin's Political Thought (Neil Harding) - Enormous, extremely detailed analysis of Lenin’s thought, its development, and the political context of all his writings. Essential for understanding why many of his polemics were much more specific rather than general programmatic statements. See also his Leninism, something of a summary.
- The Thought of Mao Tse-Tung (Stuart Schram) - Good overview of Mao’s thought and its specificities and context.
- The Black Panthers Speak (ed. Philip Foner) – Collection of the major texts of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Malcolm Little; ed. Alex Haley) – Major political autobiography by a great American revolutionary.
- Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution (5 vols.) (Hal Draper) – Enormous, pugnacious, contrarian and stimulating. A crucial secondary text on understanding the context and implications of much of the most controversial and debated aspects of Marx & Engels' theories. Draper is especially strong on resisting opportunistic Marxist praise of states, bureaucracies, and wars.
- The Life and Thought of Friedrich Engels: A Reinterpretation (J.D. Hunley) – The best biography of Engels.
- The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels (Tristram Hunt) – A well-researched, if somewhat hostile biography by a Labour MP.
- Karl Marx: A Biography (David McLellan) – The best intellectual biography of Marx himself.
- Love and Capital (Mary Gabriel) – Brilliant personal biography of Marx, Engels, and their families, with lively sympathy and a good critical eye for their personal flaws and struggles.
Read all of above before moving on
- Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder (Lenin) – Lengthy polemic, in the form of a series of thematic essays, by Lenin. Aimed against his Left Communist opponents, in particular in Germany and the Netherlands. http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/index.htm
- Letter to the Congress (aka “Lenin's Testament”) (Lenin) – Last statements on reorganization of the Party and on the threat of a Stalin-Trotsky split. http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/testamnt/congress.htm
- On Guerrilla Warfare (Mao Tse-Tung) – Mao on waging people's war. Rather abstracted and probably not of great use for most First Worlders, but still.
- The ABC of Communism (N.I. Bukharin and E.A. Preobrazhensky) – Popular summary of the ideas of the Bolsheviks about what they wanted to achieve, directly after their victory in the Russian Civil War.
- Thomas Sankara Speaks (Thomas Sankara; ed. Michael Prairie) – Collection of the (few) speeches and statements by Sankara, revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, on anti-imperialism and the like.
- In Defense of Marxism (Trotsky) – Selection of Trotsky's letters, mainly to American Marxists, laying out the essentials of Trotskyism.
- Unity and Struggle: Speeches and Writings of Amilcar Cabral (Amilcar Cabral; ed. Basil Davidson) – The revolutionary leader of Guinea-Bissau on colonialism, African liberation, and other topics.
- Marxism and the National Question (Stalin) – On nationalities, nationalism, and how socialists can deal with these.
- The Young Lords: A Reader (ed. Darrel Enck-Wanzer) – Collection of pamphlets, speeches etc. by the Young Lords Party, the Puerto Rican equivalent of the Black Panthers.
- Karl Marx (Allen Wood) – Decent summary of Marx's ideas by a liberal philosopher.
Marxist (and other useful) political economy, history of economics, and the like
- Marx's Capital, Fifth Edition (Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho) – The best concise and understandable guide to all the major themes and aspects of Marx's Capital. The fourth edition is also fine.
- The Value of Marx (Alfredo Saad-Filho) – Focuses entirely on the structure and implications of Marx's theory of value, and makes it much more intuitively understandable.
- Capital and Exploitation (John Weeks) – Somewhat old and obscure book by now, but an excellent exposition of the central concepts of Marx's theory of capitalism. Skip the first two chapters.
- The Limits to Capital (David Harvey) – Lengthy analysis of the nature of capital and capitalism based on Marx's Capital, with a particular focus on uneven development and geographical distribution.
- A Companion to Marx's Capital (David Harvey) – Based on his YouTube lectures, a guide to the reading of Capital, mainly vol. 1. Strong on the conceptual structure of the book and the contradictions inherent in capitalist accumulation, including money and finance, but not as good a guide on value theory.
- What is Property? (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon) – Classic of anarchist thought, but the one work by Proudhon that Marx rated highly. While Proudhon was a reactionary thinker in some respects, this book is still a great read and an invigorating mockery of bourgeois conceptions of economic morality. It was perhaps my first 'radical' book, and eventually led me to study Marxist economics. The Cambridge translation is good.
- 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang) – Not a Marxist work, but a pretty good introduction to why capitalism, and its ideological defense in economics, sucks. Excellent for someone starting from scratch.
- Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (Ha-Joon Chang) – Again, not Marxist, but refutes the idea that it is market capitalism, rather than central planning and investment, that has historically led to 'development'.
- Game Theory: A Critical Introduction (Varoufakis and Hargreaves-Heap) – Since game theory is ever more important both objectively and in the ideological sphere, a good critical introduction is very useful.
- The New Development Economics: Post Washington Consensus Neoliberal Thinking (Fine and Jomo) – Essential Marxist critical primer on mainstream contemporary development economics.
- Debunking Economics (Steve Keen) – Sraffian, anti-Marxist, but very readable and extensive refutation of the basic conceptual framework of neoclassical economics. Written for the layman, and for the most part easily understood. Does require critical reading.
- Debt: The First 5000 Years (David Graeber) – Anarchist anthropologist Graeber's magnum opus on debt, money, obligation, and the history of economic institutions. Rewards a careful and critical reading. Not a Marxist text and by no means wholly reliable, but very stimulating and original, destined to be a classic.
- Reclaiming Marx's Capital (Andrew Kliman) – Important, if technical, work on Marx's value theory. Refutes 99% of all the objections to it you'll ever hear or read.
- The Failure of Capitalist Production (Andrew Kliman) – The best Marxist book on the current crisis, at least with regard to the United States. Demonstrates the practical application of Marx's theory of the secular fall in the rate of profit to apply today as much as ever, and shows why capitalist crisis cannot be resolved in a Keynesian way.
- The Law of Worldwide Value (Samir Amin) – One of the few serious works of economic theory underpinning Third Worldist interpretations of Marxist political economy. Relatively easy reading, if a bit superficial.
- Unequal Exchange: A Study in the Imperialism of Trade (Arghiri Emmanuel) – A very, very difficult book, but a brilliant analysis of international trade from a Marxist perspective. Refutes neoclassical and Ricardian ideas on international trade ('comparative advantage' and the like), and establishes how it is possible for international trade to reinforce inequality between nations by applying Marx's value theory.
- Planet of Slums (Mike Davis) – Popular Marxist work on the present global political economy, in particular the implications of the worldwide explosion of population and urbanization. Excellent reading to understand our predicament, and our unprecedented opportunities. *The Invention of Capitalism (Michael Perelman) - Basically two books at once: a Marxist intro to history of economic thought, and a book on the origins of capitalism, primitive accumulation, etc. Lively and popularizing. Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change (Bowles, Edwards, and Roosevelt) – Essentially a neoclassical book in method and value theory, but probably the best neoclassical book you'll ever read. Also much more interesting to read than any standard economics textbook I've ever seen.
- Against the Market (David McNally) – Good polemic against capitalism, but also against 'market socialism'.
- The Global Minotaur (Yanis Varoufakis) – Very readable and insightful analysis of the postwar history of global finance and monetary systems. Excellent for understanding the different stages and elements since WWII in the development of the international financial system (Bretton Woods, IMF, gold standard, etc), and the role of the US in these. However, Varoufakis' theory of the crisis is more Keynesian than Marxist. Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (Harry Braverman) – Despite its (in my view) outdated monopoly capital perspective, it's a classic Marxist work on deskilling, segmented labor markets, and the like, that much rewards a read. Foundations of Human Sociality and Moral Sentiments and Material Interests (Henrich, Boyd, Bowles and Camerer & Gintis, Bowles, Boyd, Fehr, et al.) - Major works of experimental and behavioral economics as well as economic anthropology, establishing the different attitudes towards moral norms and economic behavior in a great number of different human societies. Essential source material for refuting notions of capitalism's roots in 'human nature' and so forth.
- A Theory of Global Capitalism (William I. Robinson) – Foundations of the theory of the transnational capitalist class.
- Social Capital versus Social Theory (Ben Fine) and Theories of Social Capital (Ben Fine) – Refuting attempts to understand social science through anti-Marxist notions like 'social capital', 'human capital', and so forth.
- The Road to Mont Pèlerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (Philip Mirowski) – The history of neoliberalism in organization and in theory. Much better than most books on the subject.
- Technology and Capital in the Age of Lean Production (Tony Smith) and After the New Economy (Doug Henwood) – Marxist critiques of the so-called 'new economy' and notions that Marxist analysis no longer applies because of new technological applications, computers, etc. etc.
- Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction (ed. Alfredo Saad-Filho) – A collection of Marxist pieces on capitalist structures, how they work, and why they suck.
- The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism (David Harvey) – Harvey's popularization of the Marxist theory of crisis and how it works. Has some flaws, but generally readable.
- The Separate and Inexact Science of Economics (Daniel Hausman) – Very technical work and has little to do with Marxism, but it correctly analyzes neoclassical economics as a branch of applied mathematics, and shows why this creates severe limitations to its applicability. From Political Economy to Economics and From Economics Imperialism to Freakonomics (Ben Fine & Dimitris Milonakis) – Excellent if brief Marxist critiques of mainstream economics, of 'economics imperialism' in the social sciences, and their origins.
- More Heat than Light and Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science (Philip Mirowski) – Brilliant, incisive histories tracing the origins and nature of mainstream economic theory and the very structure of economics as a discipline within a larger political and social context from the late 19th century onwards. Long and difficult, quite idiosyncratic, and not Marxist per se, but deeply rewarding.
- A History of Heterodox Economics (Fred Lee) – Does what it says on the tin. The only one of its kind, as far as I know.
- An Outline of the History of Economic Thought (Screpanti and Zamagni) – Quite obscure, but probably the best single-volume history of economic thought I know of. Reliable, historical, and extremely thorough.
- Parecon (Albert and Hahnel) – A serious attempt at systematically working out what a democratic planned society could look like. Not without its flaws, but definitely worth examining critically.
- The ABC of Political Economy (Robin Hahnel) – Radical, though not Marxist, introduction for beginners to the concepts and methods of political economy.
- Crisis in the Eurozone (ed. Costas Lapavitsas) – Marxist analyses of the current crisis in Europe, rather than the US.
- Market Socialism: The Debate Among Socialists (ed. Bertell Ollman) – A debate between several Marxist political thinkers on whether socialism should be market socialist or not.
History, historiography, etc., except of topics specified elsewhere
- Late Victorian Holocausts (Mike Davis) – A provocative title, but don't let that put you off. Brilliantly puts the liberal political economy of 19th and early 20th century imperialism and colonialism in context, shows its murderous implications many times worse than the 'monsters' of communism, and relates all this to the emerging science of systems theory besides. Will make you hate economic liberalism, however nice sounding, forever.
- Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat (J. Sakai) – Essential classic of Third Worldist theory and the Marxist theory of settlerism. Not reliable on every detail, but a revolutionary work in every sense of the word. http://www.scribd.com/doc/14446077/Settlers-Mythology-of-the-White-Proletariat
- Labour Aristocracy: Mass Base of Social-Democracy (H.W. Edwards) – Another major text of the Third Worldist viewpoint. Makes the crucial argument for the origins and nature of social-democracy as arising out of imperialist rent. http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/contemp/whitemyths/edwards/index.html
- A History of World Agriculture (Mazoyer and Roudart) - Awesome Marxisant history of agriculture. The history of agriculture is really foundational for economic history altogether. Fascinating book.
- The Wages of Destruction (Adam Tooze) – Must-read, brilliant economic history of Nazi Germany. Makes a Marxist understanding of it possible, even though it is not one. Fundamental Problems of Marxism and The Development of the Monist View of History (G.V. Plekhanov) – The 'father of Russian Marxism' is now not often read, but his deterministic, iron view of Marxist historiography is very readable and will make you think about the strengths and problems of Marxist interpretations of history.
- The Making of the English Working Class (E.P. Thompson) – Classic of Marxist social history, showing how the working class develops in and through the process of capitalist accumulation and enclosure.
- Lineages of the Absolutist State and Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism (Perry Anderson) – Major Marxist histories of transitions between different modes of production.
- The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe (Aston and Philpin) – Overview of the classic 'Brenner debate' on the origins of capitalism out of feudalism: was it through the cities and trade, or through the countryside?
- Theory as History (Jairus Banaji) – Powerful work developing the Marxist theory of history further, in particular regarding (late) antiquity and the concept of relations of production.
- What is History? (E.H. Carr) - Great classic on historiography, also useful for Marxists. Carr wasn’t a Marxist but something of a fellow traveller. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Immanuel Wallerstein) – Important theory for economic history, a major rival to Marxism but also a complement. The Long Twentieth Century and Adam Smith in Beijing (Giovanni Arrighi) – Major works of world systems analysis with a Marxisant inclination. Europe and the People Without History (Eric Wolf) – A classic of anti-Eurocentrism in history and anthropology.
- Reorient (Andre Gunder Frank) – Anti-Marxist work of world systems theory, but essential reading for anti-Eurocentric world history.
- Eight Eurocentric Historians and The Colonizer's Model of the World (James Blaut) – Must read books in combating Eurocentrism in historical analysis from a Marxist geographer much involved in anti-imperialist struggles. Combats, among others, fashionable figures like David Landes and Jared Diamond.
- Age of Revolution 1789-1848, Age of Capital 1848-1875, Age of Empire 1875-1914 and Age of Extremes 1914-1989 (Eric Hobsbawm) – Perhaps the authoritative Marxist history of the modern age in four successive parts. An essential reference point for debates in Marxist interpretation of the recent past.
- Enlightenment Against Empire (Sankar Muthu) – How the Enlightenment laid the foundations for Eurocentric and racial thinking, but also laid the foundations for reasoned anti-imperialism and the intellectual tools for establishing human equality.
- Open Veins of Latin America (Eduardo Galeano) – Essential reading on the colonization and underdevelopment of Latin America.
- The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Ilan Pappé) – Not Marxist per se, but a standard work on the origins and nature of the settler state Israel and their oppression and exclusion of the Palestinians, with of course major repercussions in global politics.
- History and Revolution: Refuting Revisionism (ed. Mike Haynes) – Good materials on refuting counter-revolutionary interpretations of the French Rev., the Russian Rev., etc. Machines as the Measure of Men (Michael Adas) – Excellent history of the changing Western perception of the abilities and value of non-Western peoples and ideas through the lens of the changing relative technological prowess of European states.
- How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (Neil Davidson) – Vast, densely and brilliantly argued book on the concept of the bourgeois revolutions and their historical nature. Strong defense of the reality of bourgeois revolution, often against the will of the bourgeoisie, against conservative critics.
- Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (Gerald Allen Cohen) – The centerpiece of so-called 'analytical Marxism', it constitutes an attempt at providing a formalist version of Marx's theory of history, stripped of any dialectic of contradiction and Aufhebung. The result satisfied not even Cohen himself for its determinism, but it is an influential and good read.
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Dee Brown) – Classic and essential history of the destruction of the Native Americans in the US. Caliban and the Witch (Silvia Federici) – Marxist-feminist history of the witch hunts and its relation to primitive accumulation in the late medieval and Renaissance period.
- The Century of Revolution 1603-1714 (Christopher Hill) – The authoritative Marxist history of the English revolution(s).
- The Cultural Cold War (Frances Stonor Saunders) – Exciting history of how many 'anti-communist left' Western writers, philosophers, etc. ended up, wittingly or otherwise, as tools of the CIA.
- The Poverty of Theory: Or, an Orrery of Errors and Other Essays (E.P. Thompson) – Thompson in polemic with other Marxist thinkers and historians, in particular Perry Anderson, Louis Althusser, and Leszek Kolakowski. Funny and interesting. Get the Monthly Review Press edition.
- When the Lights Went Out (Andy Beckett) – Not a Marxist history per se, but a brilliant history of Britain in the 1970s, containing much useful material against Thatcherite arguments about unions, planning, etc.
- The London Hanged (Peter Linebaugh) – Fascinating history of Georgian Britain's repression of working people through applications of severe criminal law.
- A People's History of the World (Chris Harman) – Ambitious Marxist history of the world from a Trotskyist viewpoint. Flawed, but as far as I know unique in its kind. King Leopold's Ghost (Adam Hochschild) – Popular anti-imperialist history of Belgian colonialism and the colonial debates.
- The Theft of History and Capitalism and Modernity (Jack Goody) – More anti-Eurocentrism in history from an anti-orientalist liberal perspective. In particular useful for combating clichés about the psychology and culture of non-Western peoples, e.g. their innate collectivism, lack of romantic love, etc.
- Framing the Early Middle Ages (Chris Wickham) – Major Marxist interpretation of the so-called Dark Ages.
- The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World and The Origins of the Peloponnesian War (G.E.M. De Ste. Croix) – Classic Marxist interpretation of the mode(s) of production of antiquity.
- For the Soul of Mankind (Melvyn Leffler) – Good history of the Cold War that does not take an explicitly pro-US position, and takes the ideological issues at stake seriously.
- A Radical History of Britain (Edward Vallance) – Good popular history of the various radical movements in British (mainly English) history, including various medieval ones.
- How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Walter Rodney) – Polemical history of European imperialism and colonialism in Africa. Politically and historically useful, although not sufficient as a main guide.
Philosophy and Theory
- Aesthetics and Politics (Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, Brecht, and Lukács) - Great Verso collection of the debates between these major Marxist philosophers before the war on aesthetic and political topics.
- The Dialectic of Enlightenment (Adorno and Horkheimer) - Fundamental text of the Frankfurter Schule: reflections on fascism, liberalism, and technology in the wake of the Holocaust.
- The Society of the Spectacle (Guy Debord) – Perhaps the central text of the Situationist movement and in some ways the most serious theoretical reflection on the worldview of 1968 (it was written in 1967). See also Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, though this is not as interesting.
- All That is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity (Marshall Berman) - Classic Marxist interpretation of modernism. Really helped me understand how modernism can be defined and also contrasted with the postmodern, despite its variety of forms. Also good cultural history book.
- The Foucault Reader (Michel Foucault; ed. Paul Rabinow) – Selection of some of the most famous pieces and segments by Michel Foucault, the French philosopher.
- Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism (Edward Said) – Not at all Marxist, but obligatory classics on understanding Eurocentrism and orientalism in culture and ideology at a conceptual level.
- Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Fredric Jameson) – Difficult, but rewarding classic on postmodern culture from a Marxist viewpoint.
- Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings (Jean-Paul Sartre; ed. Stephen Priest) – The father of Marxist existentialism on freedom, art, politics, etc.
- Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (Louis Althusser) – Can't stand him personally, but by many Althusser is considered a major figure in postwar Marxist history and philosophy.
- Introduction to the Reading of Hegel (Alexandre Kojève) – Revived Hegel as a major figure for the 20th century, with an enormous influence on what has become known as continental philosophy, including much of French Marxism.
- Hegel (Frederick Beiser) – Instead of reading the turgid prose of the man himself, I recommend this highly regarded work of secondary literature. Takes a contextualizing, historical approach to Hegel, showing the development in his thought.
- In Theory (Aijaz Ahmad) – Classic Marxist critique of postcolonial theory and literature and its misreading of class in the Third World.
- History and Class Consciousness (György Lukács) – By no means easy reading, but a foundational text of Leninist interpretation of the history of ideas and cultural forms. Sometimes seen as an inspiration for the Hungarian revolt of 1956.
- Liberalism: A Counter-History (Domenico Losurdo) - Excellent historical analysis of liberal thought from a Marxist perspective, showing its essence, strengths, and limitations.
- The Reactionary Mind (Corey Robin) - More or less the same but for conservatism, and not as explicitly Marxist in orientation.
- Illuminations: Essays and Reflections (Walter Benjamin; ed. Hannah Arendt) – Selection from the best essays by the great messianic Marxist thinker Benjamin, including his essential pieces “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” and “Theses on the Philosophy of History”.
- The Principle of Hope (3 vols.) and The Spirit of Utopia (Ernst Bloch) – An immense but rewarding slog through the work of perhaps the greatest utopian socialist.
- The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon) – Classic statement of anti-colonial Marxism, on the need for revolutionary violence against colonialism, etc. See also A Dying Colonialism.
- Black Skin, White Masks (Frantz Fanon) – Fanon on racism and the psychology of colonialism.
- Communism Has Not Yet Begun (Claude Bitot) – Almost unavailable but brilliant French text on how the political economic juncture for communist revolution is, against the grain of all historical failures, actually only now just starting to come to fruition. Very stimulating unorthodox reading. The relevant parts can be found in English from http://libcom.org/library/communism-has-not-yet-begun-introduction-claude-bitot onwards.
- On the Shores of Politics and Hatred of Democracy (Jacques Rancière) – Theorizing the anti-democratic basis of liberal political theory, and how true democracy is revolt.
- Marx's Concept of Man (Erich Fromm) – Fromm was perhaps the first to philosophize Marx as a liberatory, humanist thinker of freedom first and foremost; had a major influence on Marcuse and other 'counterculture' thinkers.
- One-Dimensional Man and Reason and Revolution (Herbert Marcuse) – Once highly regarded figure of the second generation Frankfurter Schule, major influence on the counterculture and the movements of the 1960s-70s. Played some role in postwar German Marxism, such as it was, as well, but his theorizing on 'repressive tolerance' and 'false consciousness' has not aged very well.
- Philosophizing the Everyday (John Roberts) – Excellent Marxist survey of the philosophy of everyday life, including Benjamin, De Certeau, the Situationists, Barthes etc.
- Minima Moralia (Theodor Adorno) – Series of aphoristic insights from Adorno, often considered perhaps the best single work from the Frankfurter Schule.
- Humanism and Terror (Maurice Merleau-Ponty) – An extensive discussion of the problems of the degeneration of Communism and the philosophy of history, in response to Arthur Koestler (q.v.). Defends Marxism despite the awareness of its historical mission failure.
- The Communist Hypothesis (Alain Badiou) – Badiou's reflections on his Maoism and some ideas on the continuation of a Communist project. Perhaps his more accessible political work.
- For Workers' Power (Maurice Brinton) – Some of the best essays in libertarian communism.
- Empire (Hardt and Negri) – Contemporary classic of post-Marxist globalisation theory.
- Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx's Method (Bertell Ollman) – A systematic theorization of the dialectic, a debatable attempt.
- The Postmodern Prince (John Sanbonmatsu) – Marxist critique of postmodern thought, especially Foucault and his philosophical-historical method.
- Marxism and Freedom: From 1776 Until Today (Raya Dunayevskaya) – Her major work, tracing the history of Marxist thought from a Hegelian-humanist perspective and critiquing Leninism and its successors.
- The Power of Negativity: Selected Writings on the Dialectic in Hegel and Marx (Raya Dunayevskaya; ed. Peter Hudis and Kevin B. Anderson) – Dunayevskaya's most interesting secondary works: commentaries on Hegel and Marx, correspondence with major thinkers like C.L.R. James and Erich Fromm, and comments on the major Marxist philosophers of the mid-20th century.
On the USSR
- The Soviet Century (Moshe Lewin) – Lewin was a soldier in the Red Army and something of a good amateur historian of the USSR. Takes a sympathetic but critical look at Soviet history, and a good popular overview.
- Farm to Factory (Robert C. Allen) – Brilliant work by a major liberal economic historian demonstrating the enormous superiority of the Soviet planning policies of the 1920s and 1930s, up to Khrushchev's time, compared to any realistic alternative. Will shock your worldview if you're used to the Western portrayal of Soviet economic policy as hopeless from the start.
- Stalin: Revolutionary in an Era of War (Kevin McDermott) - Liberal historian, but a very good and fair assessment of Stalin’s period, in various historiographical respects, and no Cold War bullshit. I.e., reliable.
- Everyday Stalinism (Sheila Fitzpatrick) – Serious work on the practical, everyday life under Stalin. Belonging in the post-Cold War 'revisionist' school, it neither demonizes nor whitewashes the reality.
- Stalinist Values (David Hoffmann) – Great analysis of the 'conservative turn' under Stalin and why this happened.
- The Commissariat of Enlightenment (Sheila Fitzpatrick) – Fantastic work on the 'Commissariat of Enlightenment', dealing with education, culture, and propaganda in the early Soviet union headed by the intellectual socialist Lunacharsky.
- The Bolsheviks Come to Power (Alexander Rabinowitch) – Probably the best single detailed history of the events of the 1917 revolution.
- Revolutionary Dreams (Richard Stites) - The best sort of inspiring stuff about 1920s USSR when Anything Was Possible. Constructivist communes, communist science-fiction, robotics, plans for garden cities, etc. etc. One of the most inspiring books I've ever read, without exaggeration. You'll never think of the emancipatory potential of revolution, even in backward countries, the same way again.
- The History of the GULAG (Oleg Khlevniuk) – Essential reading. Gives the real and reliable reconstructed statistics on the Great Terror and the GULAG system. Demonstrates many of the previous Western figures, such as those produced by the Cold War historians, were overblown, but nonetheless the victims run many hundreds of thousands.
- Soviet Economic Development from Lenin to Khrushchev (Richard W. Davies) – Very short but crucial summary of E.H. Carr and R.W. Davies' enormous researches on the economic history of the early and middle periods of the USSR.
- The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience (Paresh Chattopadhyay) – Original and detailed analysis of the USSR in terms of Marx's political economy, and perhaps the best argument for the 'state capitalist' interpretation. What makes it also useful is that it does not, unlike most such works, imply much of an argument against the USSR based on this.
- Western Marxism and the Soviet Union (Marcel van der Linden) - Big overview and discussion of all the theories by different Western Marxist thinkers on the ‘nature of the USSR’ question, from state capitalism to degenerated workers’ state to neither capitalist nor socialist etc. etc. Has a mild editorial line but the representations are fair.
- Conspirator: Lenin in Exile (Helen Rappaport) – Not strictly about the USSR, but about Lenin and his many associates among the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in the RSDLP during their various periods in exile. Not entirely sympathetic to Lenin, but amusingly and informatively written.
- The Road to Terror (Getty and Naumov) – By now a bit outdated and an excessively big tome, but a classic on the Great Terror.
- Khrushchev: The Man, His Era (William Taubman) – Hostile, conservative biography of Khrushchev, but the only reliable and detailed one on his life, personality, and policies. Against the will of the author made him seem very sympathetic to me, and by no means an unserious Marxist.
- Lenin (Lars Lih) – Perhaps the best contemporary single biography of Lenin.
- Trotsky (Ian D. Thatcher) – There's very few biographical or interpretative works on Trotsky that aren't either Trotskyist or fundamentally hostile. This is one contemporary one, and is decent but unremarkable.
- Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution (ed. Acton, Cherniayev, Rosenberg) – As it says. Mainly academic essays, but worth reading.
- Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars (Ethan Pollock) – On the various political interventions into scientific debates by Stalin, including the notorious case of Lysenko.
- Ten Days That Shook the World (John Reed) – The canonical novelization of the experience of the Russian Revolution.
On China and Korea
- Mao's China and After, Third Edition (Maurice Meisner) – The best popular, sympathetic history of post-Revolution China.
- The Transformation of Chinese Socialism (Lin Chun) – Great book on the attempts to build socialism, development, and national unity in the Maoist period, and the changed aims and methods in how these are dealt with in the Deng period and since.
- The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy (Li Minqi) – Marxisant world systems analysis of the rise of capitalist China and how this not only reorients the world system towards Asia, but also further contributes to the decline in the rate of profit and thereby forces capitalism to the limits of its ability to expand.
- China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle (Hart-Landsberg and Burkett) – On Chinese capitalism.
- Mao: A Reinterpretation (Lee Feigon) - Partial rehabilitation of Mao. Focus on relations between Mao’s thought and policies and the development of the USSR and the wider world context.
- Was Mao Really a Monster? (Ed. Gregor Benton and Lin Chun) – Refuting the more recent hostile interpretations of Mao and Maoist China.
- Fanshen and Shenfan (William Hinton) – In-depth, personal chronicle of the transformation of a Chinese village during the Maoist period and after.
- The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village (Han Dongping) – On the Cultural Revolution and its positive impact in the countryside.
- The Battle for China's Past (Mobo Gao) – On the debates on Mao and the Maoist legacy in contemporary China. Written from a Maoist viewpoint but overly focused on uninteresting stuff like internet debates and so on, for want of good source material.
- The Great Reversal (William Hinton) – On the counter-revolution in China. Good, but now somewhat out of date.
- Red Cat, White Cat (Robert Weil) – Critique of post-Deng 'socialism' in China.
- Race to the Swift (Jung-En Woo) – On Korean development, and why it had everything to do with planning and imperialism and little with miracles of the market.
- The Korean War (Bruce Cumings) – Progressive standard work on the forgotten war.
- The Cleanest Race (B.R. Meyers) – Interesting and suggestive argument that North Korea has become a fascist state.
- Red Star Over China (Edgar Snow) – Popular and readable narrative of the Communist struggle in China against the KMT, landlordism, and the Japanese in the 1930s.
Natural Science, History of Science and Technology, Ecology, Religion etc.
- Marx's Ecology (John Bellamy Foster) - Really good review of what ecological ideas are and aren’t in Marx’s work, and the interaction between Green and Marxist thought. Perhaps slightly on the Green side.
- The Ecological Rift (Foster, Clark, and York) – Marxist-Green thought on the ecological crisis.
- The Perverse Economy (Michael Perelman) – Why markets give the wrong incentives for people and the environment.
- Adapting Minds (David J. Buller) – Extensive philosophical and scientific refutation of reactionary Evo Psych, an important strategic battle for Marxism.
- Marxism and Ecological Economics (Paul Burkett) – Extensive discussion of the integration of Marxist economics into ecological economics. Also valuable discussions on entropy and on the notion of 'sustainability'.
- Green Capitalism: Manufacturing Scarcity in an Age of Abundance (James Heartfield) – Major anti-Green text from a Marxist perspective. An unusual and contrarian viewpoint definitely worth exploring for its implications.
- The Scientific Revolution (Steven Shapin) – Classic in the history of science, an eminently readable and iconoclastic social and cultural historical analysis of the Scientific Revolution.
- The War of Gods: Religion and Politics in Latin America (Michael Löwy) – A discussion and critique of liberation theology from a Marxist viewpoint.
- Science in Society (4 vols.) (J.D. Bernal) - Classic Marxist history of science. In some ways a bit outdated, but still a very good read.
- The Dialectical Biologist and Biology Under the Influence (Levins and Lewontin) – Essays on evolutionary biology and natural sciences generally from a Marxist perspective.
- Science and Technology in World History (McClellan and Dorn) – Nothing Marxist, but a detailed discussion of the science and technology of different societies in different historical periods. A standard reference work for historical materialism.
- Never Pure (Steven Shapin) – Excellent essays in the history of science.
- How Modern Science Came Into The World (Floris Cohen) – Stimulating and insightful comparative history of science from antiquity to the Renaissance. Not in any way Marxist, but poses useful questions.
- A People's History of Science (Clifford Conner) – A somewhat vulgar Marxist reading of the history of science as the work of artisans and craftsmen. Flawed, but readable and with some good aspects.
- On Marxism and Theology (5 vols.) (Roland Boer) – Long and systematic commentaries on the use of religious texts and references in the works of a great number of major and minor Marxist thinkers. Fascinating but overly exhaustive.
- The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins) – A modern classic of atheism. Flawed in its social content, but good on the science.
- The Miracle of Theism (J.L. Mackie) – One of the few worthwhile and readable philosophical defenses of atheism and refutations of religious ideas.
Feminism, Sexuality and the like
- Feminism is for Everybody (Bell Hooks) – Brilliant standard introduction to feminist thought.
- The Mismeasure of Woman (Carol Tavris) - Excellent pop sci book refuting piles of nonsense about how women are innately different, inferior, incompatible with certain social roles, etc.
- The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism (Lydia Sargent) - Now classic work on the problems of their relationship; basically first theorizing of ‘Marxsplaining’ etc.
- The Essential Feminist Reader (ed. Estelle Freedman) – Great collection of feminist works, from as early as the 17th century onward to now. Includes Wollstonecraft, Harriet Taylor Mill, Emma Goldman, etc.
- Women, Race and Class (Angela Davis) – On the intersection between race, class, and gender.
- History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (Judith Bennett) – On the need for feminist history, and the historical and historiographical persistence of patriarchy.
- Delusions of Gender (Cordelia Fine) – Excellent refutation of 'scientific misogyny' (by analogy with 'scientific racism') in contemporary thought.
- Sister Outsider (Audre Lorde) – More on class, gender, and race.
- Reclaiming Identity (Moya and Hames-García) – Suggestive theories on identity politics, social position, and experience. Stimulating stuff for a more historical materialist approach toward identity questions, a burning issue of today.
- Sexuality and Socialism (Sherry Wolf) – Somewhat Trotskyist but pretty decent history of how socialist theorists and politics have dealt with questions of sexuality. Does not avoid criticism where deserved.
- Sexual Revolution in Bolshevik Russia (George Carlton) – Great historical work on the question of sexuality and revolution in revolutionary Russia.
- The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (Shulamith Firestone) – Major feminist critique of classical Marxism and Freudian thought.
- Feminism Without Borders (Chandra Mohanty) – Collection of Mohanty's works on feminism, anti-capitalism, and Third Worldism.
- Hidden from History (Sheila Rowbotham) – Accessible overview of feminist social history from the 17th century to WWII. Good introduction to women's history for beginners.
- The Power of Women and the Subversion of Community (Dalla Costa and James) – Foundational work on the inclusion of women's unpaid work in the analysis of the working class.
- The Problem with Work (Kathi Weeks) – Autonomist Marxist approach to work as the central problem of political economy, especially for women.
- The Intersectional Approach (ed. Berger and Guidroz) – Not Marxist per se, but massive collection of research on the intersection between gender, race, and class concerns and those of specialized subjects such as health, sexuality, economics etc.
- Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia (Dan Healey) – History of homosexuality, mainly male, from Czarist Russia throughout the Soviet period.
- How the Soviet Man Was Unmade: Cultural Fantasy and Male Subjectivity under Stalin (Lilya Kaganovsky) – Somewhat pomo cultural studies work on images of masculinity and the Strong Worker etc. in the Stalin period.
- Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love (Sheila Rowbotham) – Biography of the late Victorian gay equality activist and socialist Edward Carpenter.
Anthropology, economic anthropology, etc.
- Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value (David Graeber) – Brilliant work in economic anthropology which, though written from an anarchist perspective, provides many useful ideas and concepts for understanding different historical laws of value.
- The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx (Karl Marx; ed. Lawrence Krader) – Marx's invaluable notes on the study of non-Western cultures. Sadly, this book is virtually impossible to obtain, and I've never been able to find one for a normal price.
- Money in an Unequal World (Keith Hart) – Marxisant economic anthropology of capitalism.
- Marx at the Margins (Kevin B. Anderson) - Excellent interpretation of Marx’s later thought and concerns about Eurocentrism, anthropology, and so forth, using the sadly unobtainable anthropological notebooks of Marx. Portrays him as much less Eurocentric etc. in his last period than often assumed; also good at showing the development of M&E’s thought from pro-imperialism in the 1850s to anti-imperialism in the 1870s.
- The Mental and the Material (Maurice Godelier) – Perhaps the best work of Marxist economic anthropology. Essential reading.
- The Gift (Marcel Mauss) – Still a major work of implicitly Marxist theory on cultural and economic anthropology.
- Stone Age Economics (Marshall Sahlins) – Another great work of Marxist economic anthropology, refuting many liberal misconceptions about 'primitive' economies and their economic formations.
- Outline of a Theory of Practice (Pierre Bourdieu) – Marxisant but maybe not quite Marxist; major theory of materialist anthropology in any case.
- The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (Michael Taussig) – Marks the transition away from traditional cultural ethnography, and a founding work of 'critical anthropology'.
- Karl Marx, Anthropologist (Thomas C. Patterson) – Good introduction to the significance of Marx for anthropology.
- Polanyi (Gareth Dale) – Critical Marxist discussion of the old institutionalist Karl Polanyi's thought, in particular as relates to his theories on economic history and economic anthropology.
- Relations of Production: Marxist Approaches to Economic Anthropology (ed. Lackner and Seddon) – Great collection of mainly French essays on Marxist economic anthropology.
- Ethnicity, Inc. (Comaroff and Comaroff) – On the commodification of identity under capitalism.
Culture and Literature, Novels, etc.
- Karl Marx and World Literature (R.R. Prawer) – Unbeatable book on the literary references in, and influence on, the work of Marx. Brilliant exegesis of the manifold literary inside jokes and connections that appear time and again.
- Marxism and Literary Criticism (Terry Eagleton) – Opinionated but useful overview of Marxist work and theorizing on literary criticism in a broad sense, from Marx and Engels themselves to Benjamin and Brecht. It is besides very short, at under 100 pages.
- Raymond Williams: Literature, Marxism, and Historical Materialism (John Higgins) – Full survey of the theories and work of Raymond Williams, the Welsh Marxist historian and literary critic. Considerably easier to read than his primary texts.
- Marxism and Form: Twentieth Century Dialectical Theories of Literature (Fredric Jameson) – Jameson's overview of the continental tradition in cultural and literary theory, such as Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse, Lukács, and Sartre.
- And Quiet Flows the Don (Mikhail Sholokhov) – Bleak but entertaining novel, chronicle of the Don Cossack experience before, during, and after the Russian Revolution. A communist version of War and Peace, it won the author the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- The Foundation Pit (Andrey Platonov) – Excellent satirical novel on the great construction period of the First Five-Year Plan under Stalin.
- Germinal (Émile Zola) – Jewel of world literature; perhaps Zola's best novel, and his most explicitly socialist.
- The Jungle (Upton Sinclair) – Quasi-Marxist novel on the conditions of the American working class in the fin-de-siècle.
- The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) – Not quite Marxist, perhaps, but certainly ranked among the greatest socialist novels of all time.
- Perdido Street Station and Iron Council (China Miéville) – Brilliant contemporary adaptations of horror and science fiction for socialist novels.
- The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed (Ursula Le Guin) – Socialist and anarchist science fiction informed by problems in anthropology and political economy.
- Darkness at Noon (Arthur Koestler) – One of the great theoretical novels of the 20th century. A working out of the historical problem of the descent into the Great Terror from the premises of Third International Communism. Contrary to its reputation, this masterpiece is not as such an anti-communist book.
- Literature and Revolution (Trotsky) – Dogmatic book on materialism and culture, but something of a theoretical classic.
- Socialism and its Culture (N. I. Bukharin) – Bukharin wrote this while awaiting his purging. This somewhat poorly structured text is on his view of the ideal social and cultural content of an idealized Soviet society, but it is written as if this were actualized in the USSR. Of historical and inspirational interest.
- Marxism and Literature and Keywords (Raymond Williams) – Stylistically difficult and plodding, but an insightful discussion of the relationship of basic concepts of historical materialism to the substance of literature.
- Orwell and Marxism (Philip Bounds) – I haven't read this yet, but it's a well-reviewed discussion of Orwell's relationship to Marxist thought, including in his novels.
- The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov) – Famous satirical novel of the literary world in the early USSR.
- Red Plenty (Francis Spufford) – An odd series of interlinked short stories or novellas, depicting humorously the potential and promise of Third International-era Communism through various real historical figures.
- The People's Act of Love (James Meek) – Thrilling novel of the Czechoslovak Legion's move through Soviet Russia after the Russian Civil War, giving a realistic look at the concerns and conditions of the time in a naturalist style.
- Story of a Life (Konstantin Paustovsky) – Autobiography of a Ukrainian writer and adventurer, stretching from the late Czarist period to World War II. Well written and romantic in style. Classmate of Bulgakov.
- Red Star (Alexander Bogdanov) – Perhaps the best known example of communist science fiction before the War.
- The Scar and Kraken (China Miéville) – Some of Miéville's lesser books in his science fiction world of Bas-Lag and its quasi-London.
- The Word for World is Forest, Changing Planes and Always Coming Home (Ursula Le Guin) – Some of the less well-known Le Guin books.
- 1984 and Animal Farm (George Orwell) – Needs mentioning.
Anarchist Texts, Oppositional Works and Other Works of Relevance
- The God That Failed (ed. Richard Crossman) – Influential postwar collection of ex-Marxist intellectuals writing on how they became Communists and how they stopped being Communists. Despite its usage in the Cold War, contains interesting and moving stories.
- The Conquest of Bread (Pyotr Kropotkin) – Classic of anarchism. A great rhetorical read, and one of the few great anarchist works on political economy after Proudhon.
- Red Emma Speaks: An Emma Goldman Reader (Emma Goldman; ed. Alix Kates Shulman) - Collection of texts by the influential American anarchist Emma Goldman.
- Main Currents of Marxism (Leszek Kolakowski) – Polish intellectual and ex-Marxist Kolakowski's polemical history of Marxism. For a hostile work, he shows a remarkably subtle and insightful understanding of the issues, and it's therefore also useful as a general history. Get the one volume edition.
- The Road to Serfdom, Individualism and Economic Order, and The Constitution of Liberty (F.A. Hayek) – Hayek's major works of a rather conservative liberalism founded on subjectivism and epistemic uncertainty. Explicitly written as a critique of socialist thought, his work has (unlike many of his lesser Austrian predecessors and epigones) been inadequately dealt with by most Marxist political economy.
- Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Richard Rorty) – One of the 20th century's greatest philosophers. His revival of epistemic pragmatism and sociolinguistical approach poses a major intellectual challenge Marxists have yet to grapple with.
- Philosophical Investigations, The Blue and Brown Books, On Certainty, and Culture and Value (Ludwig Wittgenstein) – The greatest of the lot in the 20th century. The full implications of his understanding of human sociality through the collective relativism of language are yet to be entirely worked out. If one reads any modern philosopher at all, let it be the late Wittgenstein. For an intellectual biography summarizing his thought, see Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius (Ray Monk).
- The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics (ed. Nocella, Shannon, and Asimakopoulos) – The only collection of contemporary anarchist economic theory that I know of. Despite its serious intent, it does not bode well for the relevance of anarchism to political economic research. However, as such it's an important reference work.
- The Murray Bookchin Reader (Murray Bookchin; ed. Janet Biehl) – Collection of the works of anarchist economic and ecological thinker Murray Bookchin, who was influenced by Marxism but rejected the theory. Very variable in theoretical quality.
- The Rise and Fall of Communism (Archie Brown) – There are few general histories of Communism, and this one, from a liberal British Sovietologist, is probably the least bad.
- Remembering Tomorrow (Michael Albert) – Anarcho-communist Michael Albert's autobiography. Contains no real theoretical significance, but it is an excellent read and has many useful stories about how to present socialist thought in everyday situations and to 'apolitical' working people in the United States.