When leading scholar of Marx, Roman Rosdolsky, first encountered the virtually unknown text of Marx’s Grundrisse - his preparatory work for his masterpiece Das Capital - in the 1950s in New York Public Library, he recognized it as “a work of fundamental importance,” but declared “its unusual form” and “obscure manner of expression, made it far from suitable for reaching a wide circle of readers.”
David Harvey’s Companion to Marx’s Grundrisse builds upon his widely acclaimed companions to the first and second volumes of Capital in a way that will reach as wide an audience as possible. Marx’s stated ambition for this text - where he was thinking aloud about some of possible metamorphoses of capitalism - is to reveal “the exact development of the concept of capital as the fundamental concept of modern economics, just as capital itself is the foundation of bourgeois society.” While respecting Marx’s desire to “bring out all the contradictions of bourgeois production, as well as the boundary where it drives beyond itself,” David Harvey also pithily illustrates the relevance of Marx’s text to understanding the troubled state of contemporary capitalism.
“It is often said of Marx that you need to read to the end to grasp what comes at the beginning. True to that maxim, after a lifetime of studying and interpreting Marx, David Harvey has finally returned to where Marx's critique of political economy effectively began, in the famous Grundrisse. Harvey likens his Companion to accompanying the reader on a long hike, pointing out key landforms, junctions and hazards along the way. So put on your boots, fill your water bottle, and join Harvey in his dazzling venture to bring Marx's 'most interesting and difficult' book to life.”
“An indispensable companion to the Grundrisse. Harvey's newest is as illuminating for experienced readers as it is helpful for those who are encountering Marx’s great text for the first time.”
“No matter how many times I read the Grundrisse by myself, I find it a difficult text. When I read it with David Harvey, however, the text is illuminated with light from the present. Harvey uses Marx's insights to make sense of the tricks capital plays today, from its drive towards financialization to its devastation of the planet. This is an extraordinary ability. For it reminds us not only of the relevance of Marx, but by making capitalism legible in the here and now, Harvey re-commits us to struggles against it. He is truly the Marx whisperer of our times.”