By David Harvey
- A Companion to Marx's Capital - The Complete Edition (2018)
- Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (2014)
- Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason (2017)
The radical geographer guides us through the classic text of political economy
The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression has generated a surge of interest in Marx’s work in the effort to understand the origins of our current predicament. For nearly forty years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s most foremost Marx scholars.
Based on his recent lectures, this current volume — finally bringing together his guides to volume I, II and much of III (first published in 2010) — presents this depth of learning to a broader audience, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and deeply rewarding text. A Companion to Marx’s Capital offers fresh, original, and sometimes critical interpretations of a book that changed the course of history and, as Harvey intimates, may do so again.
Harvey's Online Course on 'Reading Capital'
Here is the introductory lecture of Harvey's online course 'Reading Capital' (2019), which led to the companion and consists of 12 lectures in total:
John Welsh on Capital & Class wrote:
[on the 2010 guide to volume I] "The French structuralist Louis Althusser is famous for describing Capital as a book about Marx reading other books from the classical period of political economy—Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo. Harvey's course on Capital is essentially a very close reading of the reader of the main books of the classical period of political economy. Through him you digest everything. [...] And how does Harvey read Capital? To begin with, where Mike Davis sees a Planet of Slums, Harvey sees the other side of global capitalism: an explosion of development—malls, condos, and office towers that can now be found in all the major cities of the world. And the reason for this, Harvey believes, is that development solves a central problem. The problem any capitalist has is not a lack of money but a surplus of it. He/she can't just sit on this surplus ('The miser is merely a capitalist gone mad' — Capital) and do jack ('Capital is nothing if it is not on the move' — Companion). This problem of motion and absorption of surplus capital is a major theme in Harvey's reading of Capital. [...] Harvey also reads Marx's thinking as not fixed but flexible. In this way, Marxism is as dynamic as its subject, capitalism."
[on the 2010 guide to volume I] "David Harvey’s A Companion to Marx’s Capital is an accessible presentation of Volume 1 of Marx’s great work. The book proceeds structurally in a chronological fashion through Parts I-VIII. [...] In this companion, Harvey places Volume 1 (focusing on ‘the world of production of surplus value’) within Marx’s broader project. [...] Harvey’s pedagogic mode works by distilling key terms and highlighting core themes, which are then repeated and emphasised throughout, whilst being appropriately woven into the structural fabric of the book as a gradual unfolding of Marx’s critical argumentation. The book is not written in an inter-textual vacuum, and nor is it merely a historical account of Marx’s thought. It segues well into much of Harvey’s own recent bibliography, and addresses salient questions that must be asked of the mutations and transformations in contemporary capitalist society. The intention is not to mediate ‘what Marx really said’, but rather to draw out Marx’s style and line of argument in light of our present capitalist milieu. [...] Harvey draws a parallel between Marx’s own immanent critique of classical liberalism and Harvey’s own critique of today’s neoliberal ideological apologists. [...] In a world in which virtually nobody has read Capital itself, the book presents Marx at his most thrilling, brilliant, and relevant – as a critical analyst of capitalism. The only way to remedy the common dogmatic dismissal of Marx is to summon the confidence, interest, and courage to attempt the Everest of political economy itself. Harvey’s companion is the Sherpa that will get you up and down alive, and with a new – found love of climbing."
About David Harvey
David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School where he has taught since 2001. He earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His research interests are cultural anthropology, urbanization, environment, political economy, geography and social theory, and advanced capitalist countries.