100 books like The General Theory of Law and Marxism

By Evgeny Pashukanis,

Here are 100 books that The General Theory of Law and Marxism fans have personally recommended if you like The General Theory of Law and Marxism. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The State and Revolution

J. Moufawad-Paul Author Of Austerity Apparatus

From my list on the state and state repression.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my long-standing interests, as a political philosopher, has been to examine the deployment of state power and the state forms (what I call states of affairs) the capitalist mode of production takes in order to preserve its economic order. Since I completed my doctorate, which was on the articulation of settler-colonial power in relationship to remaining settler states, I have largely been invested in thinking politics: how dominant politics maintain the current order, how counter-hegemonic politics disrupt this order. 

J.'s book list on the state and state repression

J. Moufawad-Paul Why did J. love this book?

The definitive radical materialist analysis of the state, and a book that taught me the importance of clear thinking and writing. Opposing liberal conceptions of the state as a social contract that reconciles class contradiction, Lenin elaborates upon and synthesizes Engels’ conception of the state as a machine of class dictatorship that arises due to the fundamental irreconcilability of class antagonism. Written after Lenin studied Hegel’s Logic, The State and Revolution is an elegant piece of dialectical thought. In opposition to both the social democratic and anarchist approaches to the problem of the state, Lenin argues that the bourgeois state should be smashed in order to build a proletarian state, the latter of which must be aimed at withering away along with classes and class antagonisms.

By V.I. Lenin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lenin's classic work on the state, clarifying the differences with the opportunists of various stripes. He shows how the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat was raised by Marx and Engels after the Paris Commune.


Book cover of On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses

J. Moufawad-Paul Author Of Austerity Apparatus

From my list on the state and state repression.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my long-standing interests, as a political philosopher, has been to examine the deployment of state power and the state forms (what I call states of affairs) the capitalist mode of production takes in order to preserve its economic order. Since I completed my doctorate, which was on the articulation of settler-colonial power in relationship to remaining settler states, I have largely been invested in thinking politics: how dominant politics maintain the current order, how counter-hegemonic politics disrupt this order. 

J.'s book list on the state and state repression

J. Moufawad-Paul Why did J. love this book?

Althusser’s (in)famous article “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” was the result of copy and paste edits from this much longer manuscript. An extended philosophical investigation on how the capitalist mode of production’s duration over time requires a state formation, Althusser eventually ends up elaborating on Gramsci’s conception of hegemony so as to theorize the state machine according to “repressive” and “ideological” apparatuses. The former apparatuses concern the state’s coercive aspect; the latter apparatus concerns its aspect of “consent,” i.e. the promulgation of ideological norms. Although I go back and forth on my assessment of Althusser’s philosophical project as a whole, his work continues to challenge me and has marked the way I understand philosophy as, to quote Althusser from elsewhere, “class struggle in the terrain of theory.”

By Louis Althusser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Reproduction of Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louis Althusser's renowned short text 'Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses' radically transformed the concept of the subject, the understanding of the state and even the very frameworks of cultural, political and literary theory. The text has influenced thinkers such as Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj i ek.

The piece is, in fact, an extract from a much longer book, On the Reproduction of Capitalism, until now unavailable in English. Its publication makes possible a reappraisal of seminal Althusserian texts already available in English, their place in Althusser's oeuvre and the relevance of his ideas for contemporary theory. On the…


Book cover of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study

J. Moufawad-Paul Author Of Austerity Apparatus

From my list on the state and state repression.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my long-standing interests, as a political philosopher, has been to examine the deployment of state power and the state forms (what I call states of affairs) the capitalist mode of production takes in order to preserve its economic order. Since I completed my doctorate, which was on the articulation of settler-colonial power in relationship to remaining settler states, I have largely been invested in thinking politics: how dominant politics maintain the current order, how counter-hegemonic politics disrupt this order. 

J.'s book list on the state and state repression

J. Moufawad-Paul Why did J. love this book?

I first read The Undercommons in a virtual reading group during the early months of the COVID pandemic and was quite taken by its poetics and unfolding conceptual terrain. Beginning with an analysis of academia as a significant ideological state apparatus, Moten and Harney also discuss multiple forms of state violence and capture in racial capitalist formations. From the notion of the settler-capitalist garrison responding to “the surround” of the colonized and marginalized, to the connection between policy and policing, to the logic of reified colonial conquest, to logistics and professionalization, The Undercommons is a meditation on methods of state repression and forms of resistance. Arguing that recognition of the “general antagonism” that underlies the state is necessary for revolutionary politics, Moten and Harney end up echoing Lenin’s insights about class antagonism and false reconciliation in The State and Revolution.

By Stefano Harney, Fred Moten,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Literary Nonfiction. African American Studies. Politics. Philosophy & Critical Theory. Introduction by Jack Halberstam. In this series of essays, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control: the proliferation of capitalist logistics, governance by credit, and the management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in THE UNDERCOMMONS, Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of…


Book cover of The Right to Maim

J. Moufawad-Paul Author Of Austerity Apparatus

From my list on the state and state repression.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my long-standing interests, as a political philosopher, has been to examine the deployment of state power and the state forms (what I call states of affairs) the capitalist mode of production takes in order to preserve its economic order. Since I completed my doctorate, which was on the articulation of settler-colonial power in relationship to remaining settler states, I have largely been invested in thinking politics: how dominant politics maintain the current order, how counter-hegemonic politics disrupt this order. 

J.'s book list on the state and state repression

J. Moufawad-Paul Why did J. love this book?

I find Puar’s work to be very useful even if the theoretical framework she uses is different from, though adjacent to, mine. Usually I find the “biopolitical” analysis cloying and idealist, but Puar has developed her own materialist use of this framework that I have learned a lot from. In The Right to Maim Puar examines the liberal state’s use of maiming and debilitation as part of the reproduction of its hegemony. Not only does she examine the way a liberal disability discourse functions to exclude marginalized and targeted populations—proposing a vector of disability, debility, and capacity—she also interrogates how maiming functions in capitalist, colonial, and imperialist state policing. Moreover, her case study of Palestine, based on her own fieldwork, makes the more abstract aspects of her theory concrete.  

By Jasbir K. Puar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of "debility"-bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors-to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them…


Book cover of The Future of Law and Economics: Essays in Reform and Recollection

Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina Author Of Law, Economics, and Morality

From my list on ethics and economics.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are law professors at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Eyal Zamir is interested in the intersections of law, economics, ethics, and psychology. In addition to theoretical studies of these issues, he engages in experimental legal studies, as well. Barak Medina studies constitutional law, human rights, and economic analysis of law. He is interested in constitutional interpretation and the interaction between common-sense morality, public opinion and adjudication.

Eyal's book list on ethics and economics

Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina Why did Eyal love this book?

In the past fifty years, economic analysis has contributed immensely to legal theory – in fact, it transformed the way legal scholars think about law, primarily in North America but increasingly around the globe.

In this book, one of the founding fathers of this school of thought takes stock of the contributions, limitations, and possible routes to advance law and economics.

Specifically, Calabresi tackles the normative shortcomings of economic analysis as a normative theory, considers ways to overcome these challenges, and highlights the ways in which law and legal thinking can contribute to positive and normative economic analysis.

By Guido Calabresi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a concise, compelling argument, one of the founders and most influential advocates of the law and economics movement divides the subject into two separate areas, which he identifies with Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The first, Benthamite, strain, "economic analysis of law," examines the legal system in the light of economic theory and shows how economics might render law more effective. The second strain, law and economics, gives equal status to law, and explores how the more realistic, less theoretical discipline of law can lead to improvements in economic theory. It is the latter approach that Judge Calabresi…


Book cover of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction

Beverly Moran Author Of Race and Wealth Disparities: A Multidisciplinary Discourse

From my list on understanding critical race theory.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every author writing about race and tax in the United States uses my article with William Whitford, “A Black Critique of the Internal Revenue Code.” Using census data, Bill and I showed that blacks and whites who earn the same income, live in the same geographic areas, have the same education and marital status, pay different amounts of federal income tax because of the race and wealth disparities outlined in Race and Wealth Disparities: A Multidisciplinary Discourse edited by Beverly Moran. 

Beverly's book list on understanding critical race theory

Beverly Moran Why did Beverly love this book?

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction gives an overview of the authors who work in critical race theory and the problems they address. It is a classic put together by two of the most important authors in the field. A terrific way to ground yourself in the literature.

By Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Critical Race Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Updated to include the Black Lives Matter movement, the presidency of Barack Obama, the rise of hate speech on the Internet, and more

Since the publication of the first edition of Critical Race Theory in 2001, the United States has lived through two economic downturns, an outbreak of terrorism, and the onset of an epidemic of hate directed against immigrants, especially undocumented Latinos and Middle Eastern people. On a more hopeful note, the country elected and re-elected its first black president and has witnessed the impressive advance of gay rights.
As a field, critical race theory has taken note of…


Book cover of Principles For A Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With The Common Good

Andrew Koppelman Author Of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed

From my list on libertarian philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in human freedom, and both intrigued and cautious about the path offered by the libertarians. In my book, I finally worked out for my own benefit what is alive and what is dead in their ideals – and the various flavors in which those ideals are available. They have important insights, but too much of what they are selling is snake oil. Until now there hasn’t been any critical introduction to libertarianism for the general reader. This book aims to supply that.

Andrew's book list on libertarian philosophy

Andrew Koppelman Why did Andrew love this book?

This is the best contemporary introduction to the way in which laws that facilitate market transactions promote peace and prosperity. When philosophy students are introduced to libertarianism, they typically read Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, but Epstein’s book is more illuminating and more carefully argued. As with Hayek, I didn’t read this in a friendly spirit, but I was persuaded by the big picture. We disagree about details – a lot of details – but the basic story is sound.

By Richard A. Epstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Principles For A Free Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The countrys leading libertarian scholar sets forth the essential principles for a legal order that, in an age of limited government, balances individual liberty against the common good.. Richard Epstein, one of our countrys most distinguished legal scholars, sets out an authoritative set of principles that explains both the uses and the limits of government power. Drawing on the work of multiple disciplines, this book offers a thoroughly realized blueprint to guide us through political conflict in the troubled times ahead. }As government budgets come under political fire and free-market ideals spread, the legal and social principles of libertarian thought…


Book cover of The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience

Mark Bartholomew Author Of Intellectual Property and the Brain: How Neuroscience Will Reshape Legal Protection for Creations of the Mind

From my list on how neuroscience will change our lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor who has been teaching and writing in the area of intellectual property for 20 years. As my career went along, I came to realize how important it is to not just mechanically apply the legal rules but to think about why they are there. Intellectual property law—a 7 trillion-dollar legal regime governing one-third of the U.S. economy—continually guesses as to how the minds of artists and audiences work. The more I read about neuroscientific advances, the more I realized that these guesses are often wrong and need to be updated for a new technological age.

Mark's book list on how neuroscience will change our lives

Mark Bartholomew Why did Mark love this book?

The lion’s share of commentary about the influence of neuroscience on our system of laws has focused on criminal law. What does it mean to punish people for actions that are really the product of biology rather than conscious choice? Alces grapples with what this means for criminal law and its concepts of moral responsibility and builds a thoughtful and compelling argument. But what I really liked was his equally sharp analysis of what this different conception of human agency means when it comes to tort and contract law—legal regimes that we are much more likely to confront in our daily lives.

By Peter A. Alces,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Law relies on a conception of human agency, the idea that humans are capable of making their own choices and are morally responsible for the consequences. But what if that is not the case? Over the past half century, the story of the law has been one of increased acuity concerning the human condition, especially the workings of the brain. The law already considers select cognitive realities in evaluating questions of agency and responsibility, such as age, sanity, and emotional distress. As new neuroscientific research comprehensively calls into question the very idea of free will, how should the law respond…


Book cover of Dialectics of the Concrete: A Study on Problems of Man and World

Peter Hudis Author Of Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

From my list on envisioning alternatives to capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since before I was a teenager, I have been painfully aware of two things: the society I am living in is an extremely racist one, and capitalism fosters egotism, greed, selfishness, and a degradation of what is best in life. Ever since then I have been pursuing the goal of envisioning, and in some way advancing, an alternative to both (which in my view are related). I have suggested these five books because they have given me much inspiration for pursuing this goal, difficult as it surely is. I hope they will prove to be for you as well.

Peter's book list on envisioning alternatives to capitalism

Peter Hudis Why did Peter love this book?

This remarkable study, first published in Czechoslovakia in 1964 and translated into English in the 1970s, is one of the most profound studies of the Hegelian and Phenomenological dimensions of Marx’s work ever written.

It argues that daily life in capitalist modernity takes the alienated form of a “world of the pseudo-concrete,” in which possibilities for self-development and purposeful creation that is integral to humanity become radically suppressed. If you want to understand why the world is not as you wish it to be, read this book.

By Karel Kosik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kosik writes that the history of a text is in a certain sense the history of its interpretations. In the fifteen years that have passed since the first (Czech) edition of his Dialectics of the Concrete, this book has been widely read and interpreted throughout Europe, in diverse centers of scholarship as well as in private studies. A faithful English language edition is long overdue. This publication of KosIk's work will surely provoke a range of new interpretations. For its theme is the characterization of science and of rationality in the context of the social roots of science and the…


Book cover of A Philosophy of the Future

Massimiliano Tomba Author Of Marx's Temporalities

From my list on a Marxist’s conception of time, history, and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the concept of time, history, and politics. My first publications were in the philosophy of history. I started by translating some Left Hegelians. Then I moved toward Kant and Benjamin. My research background was constituted by the attempt to liberate Marxism from any kind of teleological philosophy of history. Recently, I began digging into concrete historical cases to extract political and legal categories. I’m interested in the reactivation of past possibilities to reconfigure the present and open alternative futures. I am now fortunate to teach courses on Temporalities and History in the History of Consciousness Department at UCSC.

Massimiliano's book list on a Marxist’s conception of time, history, and politics

Massimiliano Tomba Why did Massimiliano love this book?

This text, along with Walter Benjamin's On the Concept of History, introduces the notions of historical mutiversum and temporal strata.

Bloch develops these concepts to rethink the Marxist theory of history in relation to anticolonial struggles. He questions the idea of progress without abandoning it. Instead, he revisits progress from the perspective of complementary differentiations. This a crucial text for thinking about the plurality of times without falling into cultural relativism.

By Ernst Bloch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Philosophy of the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from A Philosophy of the Future

It is always better to take your reader straight to the point and spare him a long preamble. This is particularly advisable when the book itself is offered as an introduction. If it takes a long time to get to the matter, the mind tends to refuse what is really needful. This work consists largely of material first delivered as lec tures. If the spoken word can still be heard (where it should be heard), well and good. It helps if you tell someone the way as well as point it out; yet…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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