The Guardian • Issue #2096

Book Review by David Matters

Modern Political Economy – A New Coursebook

by Cheng Enfu, Fenge Jinhua, Ma Yan, and Ding Xiaoqin

Modern Political Economy – A New Coursebook

Those who have struggled through Marx’s Capital will find this a must read and study. As a coursebook it is written in accessible language and would be useful as a textbook capable of being grasped by many levels of those who wish to understand the modern world.

The book is a Marxist classic at yet one year of age. So many books purporting to defend and develop Marxism depart from our modern reality. It is not the case with this book. It provides a Marxist understanding not just of socialism, but also the current capitalist system.

Unlike Marx’s Capital it is easy to read while grasping the essentials and adding explanations on the discoveries of the economic laws that have developed over the last century and half since Marx’s Capital.

I would like to provide a lot of quotes of this work, but I feel that readers need the thrill of reading for themselves the fresh and innovative thoughts. The discussion of the stages of human development run throughout this masterful book. The stages of socialism are discussed based on the realities of China.

Those who wish to teach political economy in any circumstance should make this book a basic text. I have read many Soviet books on political economy but have found them not up to this standard. The book is divided into sections and chapters that could form course material.

I do not see this as a should read but as a must read. Those who teach economics in our schools could do well to introduce this text. It has much clearer understanding of money, inflation price formation, value and exchange. The international monetary system and its relationships is clearly expounded.

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