Back in June 2016 we published our abridged version of Capital Volume I. In its introduction, we explained how we wanted ‘to bring Marx’s Magnum Opus to a new audience interested in socialism and Marxist ideas’. We also said that, with this abridgment, ‘we hope the task of grasping at least the basic concepts in Capital will be less daunting. We believe this is essential for understanding the capitalist world we live in today in order to change it’.
We are now very pleased to announce the publication of our Study Guide for Marx’s Capital Volume I. This is now available to pre-order for £3 plus postage.
In addition, we have a time-limited special offer where you can pre-order the study guide and our abridged edition of Marx’s Capital together at a discounted price of £6 plus postage. We anticipate the guide to be printed within the next week or so.
If you are interested in organising a Capital reading group based on our study guide and/or abridged edition of Capital, please contact us and we can provide support or advice.
Information on the Study Guide
The main part of our 84-page study guide comes from Outline of Marx’s Capital Volume I written by Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and mass produced in 1979, but with several important changes.
Firstly, in the original guide by Dunayevskaya, all page references for Capital were to the American Kerr Edition, which is long out of print. All Capital page references have been updated to refer to the unabridged Penguin edition and, where possible, the Marxist World abridged edition. Fortunately, the Marxist World edition is valid for over three quarters of the references in the guide.
Secondly, as an appendix, we have added Ted Grant’s notes on Capital Volume I. These notes are derived from lectures he gave based on the abridged version of Capital (released under the title The Living Thoughts of Karl Marx by Leon Trotsky) that the Marxist World edition was based on. Although quite basic, we hope these notes will be useful for those completely new to Capital.
Thirdly, some minor edits have been made to the text from Outline of Marx’s Capital Volume I around grammar and extraneous content.
Using the guide
The main section of the study guide comprises 14 lectures. They are there to support reading Capital in a group, with ideally at least one person having previous experience of reading Capital and acting as the group’s guide. Lectures 2 to 13 each have a series of questions at the end in order to help initiate discussions around the content covered.
If the group are using the Marxist World abridged edition of Capital, the group should aim to meet up on a weekly basis and so finish the book within approximately three months. If the group are using the Penguin edition, more time will be needed in between sessions to adequately cover the text. Typically this could be anything between two to four weeks.
The study guide can, of course, be used by individuals wishing to read Capital by themselves. They will have the luxury of reading at their own pace, but will miss out on the group discussions that can often cement understanding of what are complex concepts.