Karl Marx

Buy hardcover (Brill)
Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004193956

Karl Korsch, with an introduction by Michael Buckmiller

The republication of Karl Korsch’s Karl Marx (1938) makes available to a new generation of readers the most concise account of Karl Marx’s thought by one of the major figures of twentieth-century Western Marxism. Originally written for publication in a series on ‘Modern Sociologists’, Korsch’s book sought to bring Marx’s work to life for an audience of non-specialist readers. As Michael Buckmiller writes in his new introduction to the work, Korsch wanted his book to serve as a passport into the non-dogmatic sections of the American labour movement. The result is a bracing, concise, and accessible overview of the entirety of Marx’s thought, and a pungent history of ‘Marxism’ itself.

Biographical note

Karl Korsch (1886-1961) was one of the most significant Marxist writers of the twentieth century. Along with Georg Lukacs’s History and Class Consciousness, Korsch’s Marxism and Philosophy (1923) stands as one of the two major contributions to the study of the philosophical underpinnings of Marxist theory.


All interested in an accessible overview of Karl Marx’s thought and of early twentieth-century Marxism. Also sociologists, historians of Marxism, and anyone concerned with left-wing politics during the 1930s.

Table of contents

Foreword by Michael Buckmiller


1. Marxism and Sociology
2. The Principle of Historical Specification
3. Specification (continued)
4. The Principle of Change
5. The Principle of Criticism
6. A New Type of Generalisation
7. Practical Implications

1. Marxism and Political Economy
2. From Political Economy to ‘Economics’
3. From Political Economy to the Marxian Critique of Political Economy
4. Scientific versus Philosophical Criticism of Political Economy
5. Two Aspects of Revolutionary Materialism in Marx’s Economic Theory
6. The Economic Theory of Capital
7. The Fetishism of Commodities
8. The ‘Social Contract’
9. The Law of Value
10. Common Misunderstandings of the Marxian Doctrine of Value and Surplus-Value
11. Ultimate Aims of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy


1.The Materialist Conception of History
2. The Genesis of Historical Materialism
3. The Materialist Scheme of Society
4. Nature and Society
5. Productive Forces and Production-Relations
6. Base and Superstructure
7. Conclusions

Index of Names