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Publisher's Summary

In his monumental work, Das Kapital, Karl Marx (1818-1883) tried to show that capitalism was both inefficient and immoral. His key to explaining capitalism is his labor theory of value, which he developed from ideas of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

Marx argued that all profit, rent, and interest are "surplus-value", obtained by paying workers less than the value of their products. He maintained that the living conditions of the workers always tend to deteriorate, that competition automatically creates monopoly, and that the business cycle demonstrates the wastefulness of capitalism.

Knowledge Products is a leading publisher of educational audiobooks. The subject matter is primarily based on the great ideas and events of history.
© and (P)1988 Knowledge Products, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Jeff
  • Sonoma, Ca, United States
  • 01-31-12

Should Rename As Das Kapital Cliffnotes Unabridged

I would have enjoyed this title if it had actually contained at least a few hours of the original text of the book it purports to be. Unfortunately its almost entirely commentary and spends more time refuting Marx than letting the reader hear his thoughts. The voice actors with foreign accents were also in my opinion unnecessary. A shortened version of this title would be great as an introduction to the actual work. Audible really needs to find some better recordings for the works of Marx.

45 of 45 people found this review helpful

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Lame and Not Focused on Das Kapital

Not that I should be surprised at the anti-Marx sentiment given that this was produced in 1988, but this was more about Marx and his ideas, some of which were central to Das Kapital. I was more of an apologists response to Capitalism. Having recently, finished listening to Marx' Capital, I decided to give this a chance. It seems that the primary motivation was to discredit certain aspects of Marx' thought and without always providing appropriate context. At least the closing statement was that the "Communists in Russia had little to do with Marxism."

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • detroit, MI, USA
  • 05-10-12

Hopelessly biased

What would have made Karl Marx better?

It would have been better had the author not been an anti-communist. He made straw man arguments out of Capital, useless book.

Any additional comments?

Author should have tried harder to capture the essence of Marx's work, not refute it (using straw man arguments.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Karl Marx with an accent?

What disappointed you about Karl Marx?

Because of the title, I mistakenly purchased this when I wanted Das Kapital itself. That said, was prepared to take interest in it as a secondary source - but found it childishly simplistic, as if written to inspire school children (filled with the sort of irrelevant, trumped up biographical commentary that reminds me of picture books about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington). I could perhaps have gotten past all that - were it not for the quotations from Marx read with a "German" accent.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Karl Marx. In his own words. Without the accent.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

see all of the above.

What character would you cut from Karl Marx?

The biographer.

Any additional comments?

Don't bother.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Not Das Kapital unabridged

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A died in the wool, committed capitalist would like this book very much as it presents the capitalist perception of the ideas of Karl Marx.

Would you ever listen to anything by David Ramsay Steele again?

probably not.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

the narator was fine. i would listen to other works read by him.

What character would you cut from Karl Marx?

i would cut Mr. Steele and let Karl's Ideas stand or fall on their own merit.

Any additional comments?

This book should have been marketed as A Capitalist's View of Karl Marx's Das Kapital. I believed it to be a translation from the German. I was interested in the Ideas of Marx, not Mr. Steele's opinions.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Not Marx's Kapital

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This review is only because the book isn't what it appears to be. This is *not* Das Kapital by Karl Marx, it's a commentary on Marx's work.

Would you recommend Karl Marx to your friends? Why or why not?

If someone's looking for Marx's actual work, certainly not. For someone wanting Marx to be explained to them, with occasional quotes from Das Kapital surrounded by refutations, historical context or rationalizations, this is probably for them.

Did Louis Rukeyser do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, though the accents were unnecessary, a little cartoonish and made parts of the recording difficult to understand.

Any additional comments?

The title is actually the misleading part. If it had been "Marx's Kapital: A Commentary" or similar, it would have been clear what this work is.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • andrew
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 04-29-13

Too much editorial

What would have made Karl Marx better?

Author of the collected excerpts should not have included such copious and obvious negative opinions and points about the work. Historical context and some opinion is appreciated, but this goes way over the top. I wish it focused more on citing the text, and explaining the issues without being so pushy trying to de-legitimate the ideas- They speak for themselves.

Has Karl Marx turned you off from other books in this genre?

yes, if the genre is "extreme editorial of major texts"

What three words best describe Louis Rukeyser’s voice?

clear, authoritative, direct

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Karl Marx?

well, actually, i was trying to find the original work unabridged, so i would have cut everything the author added.

Any additional comments?

this is a terrible version to buy if you are not already familiar with the original text.. also it is worthless if you already are familiar. overall, do not buy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Not Das Kapital

This is a capitalist interpretation and criticism of Das Kapital selling itself as the original

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is not Das Kapital

Any additional comments?

This audio book is not Das Kapital even though it's very clearly labeled as if it is.<br/><br/>This is an audio book making commentary and criticism of Das Kapital The arguments can be appreciated as a they contextualize some of Marx's arguments to their time and allow the listener to compare them to more modern economic and technological realities. However they're also sometimes overly dismissive of Marx and even occasionally come off as attacks on his character or motives.<br/><br/>I feel the author did, for the most part, try to be objective but it is imperfect for sure.<br/><br/>If you've gone over Das Kapital this may be a good listen to hear the perspective of someone who would argue against it. The arguments are not always poor, but they definitely show a bias at times.<br/><br/>This should honestly be titled "Commentaries on Das Kapital".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sacha
  • waitsfield, VT, United States
  • 01-25-14

WHY ?

Why did David Ramsay Steele disappoint me?
I'd like to start by saying that I loved the detail and the inclusion of many other great thinkers
When i bought this book though, i was trying to learn more about what Marx had to say, I just wish Steele would have kept it as objective as possible

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr R Saunders
  • 09-16-17

INCOMPLETE

WHEN I PURCHASED THIS WELL READ AUDIO BOOK , I THOUGHT IT WAS (AN ABRIDGED VERSION) OF DAS KAPITAL!

HOWEVER IT WAS AN OVERVIEW BY DAVID STEELE OF KARL MARX:; ALTHOUGH VERY INFORMATIVE ONE COULD BE FORGIVEN INTO THINKING THE AUTHOR HAD HIS OWN PRECONCIEVED UNDERSTANDING OF "MARXISM" AND IT'S SUBSEQUENT INFLUENCE ON WORLD HISTORY BOTH PAST AND TO COME.

I ENJOYED LISTENING AND THOUGHT THE "BOOK" WORTH THE £5-00.

I CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR A COPY OF DAS KAPITAL (PREFERABLY IN AN AUDI0 FORMAT)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful