10 books like Marx's Inferno

By William Clare Roberts,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Marx's Inferno. 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 Capital Illustrated

By David Smith, Phil Evans (illustrator),

Book cover of Marx's Capital Illustrated

As an academic, I was at first skeptical about reading a comic version of Marx’s masterpiece, but Smith and Evans brilliantly manage to be both entertaining and enlightening, hilariously funny as well as dead serious. Even if you’re not familiar with any of the key concepts, you’ll get a lot out of the way they combine simple descriptions with the illustrations, and the updated edition really resonates with the financial crises we’ve experienced in the last couple of decades. 

Marx's Capital Illustrated

By David Smith, Phil Evans (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Karl Marx did not write Das Kapital for the bookshelves of economists and philosophers. It is economics for working people, from their viewpoint and history. It is the classic masterpiece of revolutionary working-class politics. Here, David Smith and Phil Evans explode the myth of difficulty haunting Marx's Kapital.


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…


The Sane Society

By Erich Fromm,

Book cover of The Sane Society

Although not Fromm’s best-known book, The Sane Society is crucial because it states for the first time a description of the human condition. I was astonished when I first read it, as it presented to me the possibility that the human condition could be described, and, therefore by implication, understood, something which had never before occurred to me. Fromm’s thesis is that society in the 20th century, when he was writing, can be characterised as insane, because it does not meet humanity’s real needs. Part of the revelation of this book is that such needs can be developed from an analysis of the human condition. Since reading the book, I have followed Fromm’s conviction that a real and true description of ourselves is crucial to humane ethical progress. 

The Sane Society

By Erich Fromm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


The Value of Everything

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Book cover of The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

I like this book because it takes a giant step back and asks what “the economy” means. What we measure, and what we choose to classify as “economic activity”, is a choice, not a given. By opting to classify some things as true economic activity (e.g. finance) but others as not (e.g. raising kids) we implicitly make choices about economic policy, as it can only deal with what it can count. It opens up the idea that we could stop and think about what should matter to the economy, and what may not.

The Value of Everything

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Modern economies reward activities that extract value rather than create it. This must change to ensure a capitalism that works for us all.

Shortlisted for the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

A scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way in which economic value has been accounted and reveals how economic theory has failed to clearly delineate the difference between value creation and value extraction. Mariana Mazzucato argues that the increasingly blurry distinction between the two categories has allowed certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as…


A People's Guide to Capitalism

By Hadas Thier,

Book cover of A People's Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics

A People’s Guide is just a lively, accessible, and up-to-date guide to the basics of capitalism. Hadas Thier explains complex ideas in a simple and engaging way with excellent day-to-day examples. It’s economics for those who want to understand and dismantle the world of the 1%. And it’s written not from an academic but from an activist viewpoint.

A People's Guide to Capitalism

By Hadas Thier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A People's Guide to Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Economists regularly promote Capitalism as the greatest system ever to grace the planet. With the same breath, they implore us to leave the job of understanding the magical powers of the market to the "experts."

Despite the efforts of these mainstream commentators to convince us otherwise, many of us have begun to question why this system has produced such vast inequality and wanton disregard for its own environmental destruction. This book offers answers to exactly these questions on their own terms: in the form of a radical economic theory.


Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

By Rebecca Henderson,

Book cover of Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

If we want to reimagine capitalism as a system that does not destroy the planet and destabilize society, this must be enabled by corporations changing the way that they operate. Henderson’s Reimagining Capitalism gives us some principles for thinking about how to do this. A long-time innovation scholar, Henderson draws on her knowledge about how to succeed at organizational change to propose a more purpose-driven model of corporate action. Using numerous case studies of companies that have (partially) succeeded and those that have failed, she animates a number of principles for change. To start, such a model will require new metrics for social and environmental impact. This would involve more collaborative engagement amongst stakeholders to grow the economic pie and amongst companies to self-regulate in a more sustainable manner.

Particularly refreshing, at the end of the book, Henderson connects the macro conversation about economic and corporate change with a discussion…

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

By Rebecca Henderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A renowned Harvard professor debunks prevailing orthodoxy with a new intellectual foundation and a practical pathway forward for a system that has lost its moral and ethical foundation.
Free market capitalism is one of humanity's greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.

Rebecca Henderson's rigorous research in economics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as her many years of work with companies around…


The Labour of Enjoyment

By Samo Tomsic,

Book cover of The Labour of Enjoyment: Towards a Critique of Libidinal Economy: Lacanian Explorations IV

Tomšič basically identifies why psychoanalysis is an anti-capitalist technique and how it emerged in response to the social structure of capitalist society. Psychoanalysis counters resistance to psychic change and to social change, a resistance that manifests itself in capitalism. Tomšič very nicely sees how the neurotic suffering that psychoanalysis treats is the result of one’s integration into the capitalist system, which is why treating it requires an anticapitalist method.  

The Labour of Enjoyment

By Samo Tomsic,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new theory of libidinal economy―the intersection between desire and capitalism―from the author of The Capitalist Unconscious

The fourth book in Slavoj Žižek's Lacanian Explorations series, The Labour of Enjoyment sees Slovenian philosopher Samo Tomšic continue his exploration of the connections between capitalism and psychoanalysis that he began in his 2015 book The Capitalist Unconscious.

In this new text, Tomšic critiques the use of psychoanalysis to discuss political economy, focusing specifically on the concept of "libidinal economy," the intersection between desire and capitalism most famously proposed by Jean-François Lyotard.

Contrasting Marxist and Freudian thought with the philosophies of Aristotle and…


Atlas Shrugged

By Ayn Rand,

Book cover of Atlas Shrugged

It isn’t often that a book written a long time ago would be one of my recommendations. Atlas Shrugged is a compelling story of what our world could become if political forces collide along the way. In Rand's piece she pits Capitalism against Socialism through the eyes of Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and Steel Magnet, Hank Rearden. It is an extraordinary piece of literature that will leave you questioning if it was written as a warning of where our current-day societies are headed. A long read, but well worth your time.

Atlas Shrugged

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who…


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