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The first volume of this critical history covers the social, political, and theoretical forces behind the development of Marxian economics from Marx’s death in 1883 until 1929, the year marking the onset of Stalin’s “revolution from above,” which subsequently transformed the Soviet Union into a modern superpower. During these years, Marxists in both Russia and Germany found their economic ideas inextricably linked with practical political problems, and treated theory as a guide to action. This book systematically examines the important theoretical literature of the period, including insightful works by political functionaries outside academia—journalists, party organizers, underground activists, and teachers in the labor movement—presented here as the primary forgers of Marxian economic thought.
Beginning with Engels’s writings, this book analyzes the work of leading Marxist economists in the Second International, then concludes with a review of the intellectual movements within the Marxian political economy during the 1920s. A second volume treating the period from 1929 to the present will follow.
Originally published in 1989.
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