10 books like Marx's Capital Illustrated

By David Smith, Phil Evans (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Marx's Capital Illustrated. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Marx's Ecology

By John Bellamy Foster,

Book cover of Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature

This book rocked my theory-world when I finally settled down to read it, long after it was first published and everybody was talking about it. Besides developing Marx’s idea of the ‘metabolic rift’ in the social-natural metabolism, brought on by the industrial revolution, it also traces Marx’s inspiration in the soil sciences of his day, ancient materialist philosophies of nature, and the disregard or distortion of Marx’s ecology during the Soviet era and in the West.  

Marx's Ecology

By John Bellamy Foster,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx's Ecology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Progress requires the conquest of nature. Or does it? This new account overturns conventional interpretations of Marx and in the process outlines a more rational approach to the current environmental crisis. Marx, it is often assumed, cared only about industrial growth and the development of economic forces. John Bellamy Foster examines Marx's neglected writings on capitalist agriculture and soil ecology, philosophical naturalism, and evolutionary theory. He shows that Marx, known as a powerful critic of capitalist society, was also deeply concerned with the changing human relationship to nature. Marx's Ecology covers many other thinkers, including Epicurus, Charles Darwin, Thomas Malthus,…


Marx's Inferno

By William Clare Roberts,

Book cover of Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital

This really engaging book shows how Capital, Volume 1 is implicitly modelled on Dante’s Inferno, from the way Marx stages the descent (katabasis) into the hell of the 19th-century factory to the division of the French and English translations into 33 chapters, mirroring the 33 cantos of Dante’s famous poem. Roberts almost makes you forget you’re reading political theory, an effect Marx was aiming for in trying to reach his socialist and working-class audiences.

Marx's Inferno

By William Clare Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx's Inferno as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marx's Inferno reconstructs the major arguments of Karl Marx's Capital and inaugurates a completely new reading of a seminal classic. Rather than simply a critique of classical political economy, William Roberts argues that Capital was primarily a careful engagement with the motives and aims of the workers' movement. Understood in this light, Capital emerges as a profound work of political theory. Placing Marx against the background of nineteenth-century socialism, Roberts shows how Capital was ingeniously modeled on Dante's Inferno, and how Marx, playing the role of Virgil for the proletariat, introduced partisans of workers' emancipation to the secret depths of…


Marx at the Margins

By Kevin B. Anderson,

Book cover of Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies

Though not focusing specifically on Capital, Anderson’s book is groundbreaking for the way it brings Marx’s massive editorial writings into conversation with his economic ideas, especially around topics we’ve been grappling with in the last hundred years, such as racial conflicts in the US, Irish nationalism, Russian revolutionary movements, and the legacy of British imperialism in Asia. 

Marx at the Margins

By Kevin B. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx at the Margins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Marx at the Margins, Kevin Anderson uncovers a variety of extensive but neglected texts by Marx that cast what we thought we knew about his work in a startlingly different light. Analyzing a variety of Marx's writings, including journalistic work written for the New York Tribune, Anderson presents us with a Marx quite at odds with conventional interpretations. Rather than providing us with an account of Marx as an exclusively class-based thinker, Anderson here offers a portrait of Marx for the twenty-first century: a global theorist whose social critique was sensitive to the varieties of human social and historical…


Routledge Handbook of Marx's Capital

By Marcello Musto (editor), Babak Amini (editor),

Book cover of Routledge Handbook of Marx's Capital: A Global History of Translation, Dissemination and Reception

Even though this book only comes out in 2023, and the high price tag means that most of us will only be able to access it from libraries, this monumental collection will be the landmark study of the global reception and translation of Marx’s great book. The parts I’ve seen or heard about are riveting, since they make us think about what it means to read and how reading can change minds as well as worlds. 

Routledge Handbook of Marx's Capital

By Marcello Musto (editor), Babak Amini (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Routledge Handbook of Marx's Capital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marx's Capital has been the focus of widespread interest in the wake of the international financial crisis that erupted in 2008, as hundreds of leading daily and weekly papers throughout the world discussed the contemporary relevance of its pages. Many are again looking to an author who in the past was often wrongly associated with the Soviet Union, and who was too hastily dismissed after 1989. New or republished editions of Marx's work have become available almost everywhere. The literature dealing with Marx, which all but dried up twenty-five years ago, is showing signs of revival in many countries, and…


Marx's Das Kapital

By Francis Wheen,

Book cover of Marx's Das Kapital: A Biography

Francis Wheen is a witty journalist who has written a short but revealing biography of Karl Marx. And in this book, he explains in no more than 100 pages, how Marx came to write his masterpiece, Das Kapital. He shows why Marx’s great treatise deserves to be read and understood.

Marx's Das Kapital

By Francis Wheen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx's Das Kapital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In vivid detail, Francis Wheen tells the story of Das Kapital and Karl Marx’s twenty-year struggle to complete his unfinished masterpiece. Born in a two-room flat in London’s Soho amid political squabbles and personal tragedy, the first volume of Das Kapital was published in 1867, to muted praise. But after Marx’s death, the book went on to influence thinkers, writers, and revolutionaries, from George Bernard Shaw to V. I. Lenin, changing the direction of twentieth-century history. Wheen’s captivating, accessible book shows that, far from being a dry economic treatise, Das Kapital is like a vast Gothic novel whose heroes are…


The Life and Thought of Friedrich Engels

By J.D. Hunley,

Book cover of The Life and Thought of Friedrich Engels: A Reinterpretation

Friedrich Engels is my hero. Coming from a wealthy German family of factory owners, he became Marx’s life-long friend. He was a Communist before Marx but gave up his own theoretical contributions for 20 years and instead worked for his family firm in order to support Marx and his family financially, so that Marx could write Das Kapital. And yet his own works were considerable and valuable in explaining socialist ideas. A bon viveur and sociable to a fault, Engels was the epitome of the connection between humanity and socialism. Unlikely as it seems, JD Hunley was Deputy Commander of Training in the US Air Force, and yet delivers a short and extremely erudite account of Engels’ life and works.

The Life and Thought of Friedrich Engels

By J.D. Hunley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Thought of Friedrich Engels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

See amazon description of item.


The ABCs of Political Economy

By Robin Hahnel,

Book cover of The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach

Hahnel’s work should be more well known. A professor of economics who understands the neoclassical approach inside out, he has spent his career not only critiquing mainstream economics but developing rich alternatives, including a sophisticated economic vision that aims to avoid the pitfalls of both free markets and state planning. I’ve chosen The ABCs of Political Economy as it’s a wonderful introduction to the area, offering a broad scope and a sharp critique of orthodox approaches to the economy.

The ABCs of Political Economy

By Robin Hahnel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The ABCs of Political Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This revised edition of ABCs is a lively and accessible introduction to modern political economy. Informed by the work of Marx, Veblen, Kalecki, Robinson, Minsky and other great political economists, Robin Hahnel provides the essential tools needed to understand economic issues today.

Dispelling myths about financial liberalisation, fiscal austerity, globalisation and free markets, ABCs offers a critical perspective on our present system and outlines clear alternatives for the future.

This second edition applies the analytical tools developed to help readers understand the origins of the financial crisis of 2007, the ensuing 'Great Recession', and why government policies in Europe and…


Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle

By Robert Ovetz,

Book cover of Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives

Despite so much depressing evidence to the contrary, professor Robert Ovetz argues that global workers' struggle is being reborn from the ashes of the old trade union movement. In this collection, international labor experts explain how Argentine truckers, Puerto Rican teachers, Chinese migrant laborers, Turkish delivery drivers, and other workers are analyzing geopolitical dynamics and seizing the levers of power in new and effective ways. Packed with analysis and charts like the “Credible Strike Threats Scorecard,” this is a gold mine for labor geeks who refuse to give up hope of overturning global capitalism.

Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle

By Robert Ovetz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rumours of the death of the global labour movement have been greatly exaggerated. Rising from the ashes of the old trade union movement, workers' struggle is being reborn from below.

By engaging in what Karl Marx called a workers' inquiry, workers and militant co-researchers are studying their working conditions, the technical composition of capital, and how to recompose their own power in order to devise new tactics, strategies, organisational forms and objectives. These workers' inquiries, from call centre workers to teachers, and adjunct professors, are re-energising unions, bypassing unions altogether or innovating new forms of workers' organisations.

In one of…


Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution

By Raya Dunayevskaya,

Book cover of Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution

Dunayevskaya’s Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution. This book contained the first-ever analysis of Luxemburg as feminist, the first widely disseminated analysis of gender in Marx’s late Ethnological Notebooks, and a hard-hitting discussion of feminism, race, and revolution that pulled no punches in terms of critiquing dominant forms of feminism, especially in the U.S. The treatment of the late Marx featured a searing critique of Engels’s economistic reductionism on women’s liberation, and this was followed up by unstinting critiques of Lenin and Trotsky as well as Luxemburg herself on the failures of what Dunayevskaya termed “post-Marx Marxism” to fulfill the profound legacies left to them by Marx.  

Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution

By Raya Dunayevskaya,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


In this important and wide-ranging critique of Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) Raya Dunayevskaya examines the life, political thought, and action of one of the most critical revolutionary figures of our time. Dunayevskaya sheds new light on the questions of socialist democracy after the revolution, disclosing both the unprobed feminist dimension of Rosa Luxemburg and the previously unrecognized new moments in Marx's last decade concerning the role of women and the peasantry. As the founder of Marxist-Humanism in the United States, Dunayevskaya (1910-87) was an internationally respected writer, philosopher, and revolutionary. This new and expanded edition includes two previously unpublished articles by…


All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

By Marshall Berman,

Book cover of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity

A modern classic! A fascinating analysis of arts, culture, literature, and social and urban change. A breathtaking read of Goethe’s Faust to Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground and a sharp analysis of what Hausmann’s Parisian boulevards have to do with the prospects of pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg and the highways of mid-century New York. Fantastic chapters on Karl Marx (from whom the title of the book is borrowed) and Charles Baudelaire. Written with poetic perfection!

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

By Marshall Berman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All That Is Solid Melts Into Air as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A bubbling caldron of ideas . . . Enlightening and valuable." Mervyn Jones, New Statesman.

The political and social revolutions of the nineteenth century, the pivotal writings of Goethe, Marx, Dostoevsky, and others, and the creation of new environments to replace the old all have thrust us into a modern world of contradictions and ambiguities. In this fascinating book, Marshall Berman examines the clash of classes, histories, and cultures, and ponders our prospects for coming to terms with the relationship between a liberating social and philosophical idealism and a complex, bureaucratic materialism.

From a reinterpretation of Karl Marx to an…


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