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Publisher's Summary

Marxism is a term that many people freely use, but few seem to grasp its implications. Sowell's book is the antidote to this problem. He writes in a fluid and easy-to-follow manner, leading the listener through the Marxian scheme of ideas. Along the way, he shatters some existing interpretations of Marx-interpretations that have developed through repetition rather than through scholarship.

©1985 Thomas Sowell (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Maybe my expectations were misplaced?

I read this book primarily as a way to understand my "lefty" friends and maybe gain some perspective as to why the Marxist ideology is attractive. I wanted to feel the pull towards this ideology but with the context that can be supplied by a critical author. Maybe I really need to expose myself to some hardcore Marxist writings, or maybe I'm just too incompatible with this line of thought. A decent enough book, but I never really felt like I couldn't put it down nor did it ever express its ideas in a way that led me to think.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A must read, but a hard one!

Sowell's book is, without doubt, one of the most comprehensive studies on Marxism, based on years of research into Marx and Engels' works. It is specifically remarkable for reading through most of the first hand works by the two intellectuals, instead of founding its arguments on mere conceptions and articulations (as done by many), and giving a comprehensive and coherent vision of Marxism. Quite importantly, this vision is based on the philosophical and intellectual framework conceived by Marx and Engels and the historical context of the time, rather than using contemporary definitions and terms to illustrate an idea (and a philosophy) that was proposed one and a half centuries ago.

However, it is not written as fluently as it claims. Somewhere in the middle, I decided to acquire the book itself, to be able to go back and read some of the sentences several times. The narration does not make things easier, partly because of the nature of the book, and Marxism in general, partly because of the writing style of Sowell, and partly because of the narration itself. E.g. book is full of quotations, and, at times, it is hard to follow when a quotation starts and when it ends. Or, when a footnote ends. Writing style is full of long but complicated sentences, and Louis does not make them easy to follow!

In sum, if you are an economist, or someone interested in the history of economic though (or the idea of liberty in general), this is a must read for you. But, be prepared for a hard read!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A really hard read

I am not that intelligent but have some. I found this book to be way over the top and I was lost most of the time. There are not too many books on Marxism on Audible so it is slim picking. I would say if you want to get the most out of this book, find a way to get Marxism 101 first as this is most definitely graduate level study.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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None Better

There is no better american intellectual and researcher than Thomas Sowell. Listen to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another Great Sowell Book

Informative

Not an outright attack on Marxism. Sowell provides great information and clarification on the tenants of Marxism with occasional mention of the problems with the political/economic philosophy.

Will likely give it another listen in the future.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Material but not an easy "in the car" listen

What disappointed you about Marxism?

Not much about the book, though it's very intricate to listen to the material. I think too much of the special Marx/Engels/Hegel jargon made it a difficult listen while driving.

Would you be willing to try another book from Thomas Sowell? Why or why not?

Yes, always pleased with Sowell's books.

How could the performance have been better?

The places where the audio was re-read really stood out and were sometimes distracting

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

None -- don't like abridged works.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Insightful for those tempted by Communism

Thomas Sowell shows his mastery of economics, history, and logic in this rebuttal of Marx and communism.

He does a great job of explaining some of the intricacies of the philosophy of communism.

In the last chapter he finally deals blows to this evil ideology, and offers up his opinions of it.

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  • Carey
  • LAKE MARY, FL, United States
  • 08-05-17

this was a wonderful book...

this is an in-depth analysis of Marx and Engels communist and socialist ideologies... most of the book is an education on what Marks & Angles were teaching and not so much of a critique but in the end the author gives a great critique.....

  • Overall

Thumbs up

Thorough overview and critique. Highly recommended for a great analysis of Marxism and its limitations

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Slow start, gets better

The early chapters are a bit too full of jargon. I particularly enjoyed the history of materialist philosophy and the explanation of what "dialectic" philosophy means. Also, I loved the last two chapters, one describing the life of Marx the man and the other critiquing his theory. To disentangle what Marx actually said and thought from his followers is a endlessly fascinating history lesson.