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Books – Classic theory

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Karl Marx

Capital – unabridged
vol 1
A Critical Analysis of Capital Production

by Karl Marx
Edited by Frederick Engels
International Publishers, New York, 1867 (2009)
Paperback – 767 pages

This is possibly the most important book in working-class history. This seminal work was written in 1867, the first of three volumes, and its analysis is just as valid today as when it was written. Marx, applying scientific method to political economy, dispels the arguments of those who look upon the capitalist regime as the absolutely final form of social production, instead of as a passing historical phase of its evolution. Volume 1 covers The Process of Production of Capital. It includes commodity production, money and the transformation of money into capital, the theory of surplus value, wages, division of labour, working day, rate of profit, the accumulation of capital and much more.


Critique of the Gotha Programme

by Karl Marx
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1937
Paperback – 49 pages

In this work Marx formulated many ideas on the major issue of scientific communism, such as the socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat, a period of transition from capitalism to communism, the two phases of the communist society, the production and distribution of the social product under socialism and the principal features of communism, proletarian internationalism and the party of the working class.


The Class Struggles in France 1848 to 1850

by Karl Marx
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1952
Paperback – 144 pages

This body of work appeared first as a series of articles in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung between December 1849 and November 1850. Engels "repackaged" them into a more complete book in 1895, a dozen years after Marx's passing.

In highlighting the importance of this work in the development of Marx's thought, Engels wrote: "The work here republished was Marx's first attempt to explain a section of contemporary history by means of his materialist conception, on the basis of the given economic situation. In the Communist Manifesto, the theory was applied in broad outline to the whole of modern history ... Here, on the other hand, the question was to demonstrate the inner causal connection in the course of a development which extended over some years ... to trace political events back to effects of what were, in the final analysis, economic causes."


Wages-Labour and Capital:
Value, Price and Profit

by Karl Marx
International Publishers, New York, 1818 (2017)
Paperback – 62 pages

One of the most popular capitalist myths is: “wage increases only cause prices to rise”. How do you counter this claim and the many other myths about the relationship between wages, prices and profit and the value of labour. Wage-Labour and Capital: Value, Price and Profit are very easy to read introductions to some of the most burning issues for workers to the study of political economy.


Frederick Engels

Germany: Revolution & Counter-Revolution

by Frederick Engels
with the collaboration of Karl Marx
Edited by Eleanor Marx
International Publishers, New York, 1851-1852 (1969)
Paperback – 155 pages

Originally apearing as a series of articles in the New York Tribune, these writings were later collected and edited by Marx's daughter Eleanor. The book has since become a classic on the German Revolution of 1848, and remains a model of the Marxist interpretation of history. It was written with the active collaboration of Marx, under whose name the articles first appeared. The present edition includes Eleanor Marx's introduction to the original English edition.


On Marx’s Capital

by Frederick Engels
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1940
Paperback – 49 pages

The works collected here are but a small part of what Engels wrote in connection with Marx’s Capital.


The origin of the family, private property and the state

by Frederick Engels
International Publishers, New York, 1942
Paperback – 285 pages

Edited with an introduction by Eleanor Leacock in which she pays partcular attention to Engels’ interpretation of the role of family in primitive society, barbarisim and civilization, and the subjugation of women in relation to the rise of class and state. Added as an appendix is Angels’ unfinished essay, “The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man”.


Frederick Engels & Karl Marx

Birth of The Communist Manifesto

by Karl Marx & Frederick Engels
Edited with an introduction by Dirk J Struik
International Publishers, USA, 1971 (1993)
Paperback – 224 pages

This original work is sure to find a prominent place in the study of Marxism. In his introduction Professor Struik gives the social and interlectual milieu in which the historical document was conceived and written. With the aid of material only recently discovered, he unravels the relations among the various sects and the history of the Communist League, for which the Manifesto was written.


Vladimir Lenin

Against Dogmatism and Sectarianism in the Working-Class Movement

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965
Hardcover – 215 pages

A collection of articles by Lenin taken from his Collected Works (Corrections in accordance with Fifth Russian edition).

Articles include:

  • In What Sense We Can Speak of the International Significance of the Russian Revolution
  • An Essential Condition of the Bolshevik's Success
  • Guerrilla Warfare (extract)
  • Marxism and Revisionism (extract)
  • Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality


Against Imperialist War

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1966
Hardcover – 397 pages

In this collection of articles and speeches, Lenin examines the nature, causes and consequences of imperialist wars. He shows how wars were not “in defence of the fatherland”, as the imperialist rulers told their people, but between preditors redividing their spoils.


Articles and Speeches on Anniversaries of the October Revolution

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1957
Papercover – 98 pages

A collection of speeches given by Lenin between 1918 to 1922, taken from his Collected Works (Corrections in accordance with Fifth Russian edition).

Speeches include:

  • The Chief Task of Our Day
  • What is Soviet Power?
  • Soviet Power and the Status of Women
  • Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution


Imperialism –
The Highest Stage of Capitalism
A Popular Outline

by Vladimir Lenin
International Publishers, USA, 1939 (2013)
Papercover – 128 pages

Almost 100 years after it was written, Lenin’s classic Marxist theory of imperialism, principally articulated in his book Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, remains the best framework to understand capitalism’s international political economy. Subsequent capitalist development shows the key aspects of Lenin’s thesis to be correct. Just as the basic ideas of Marx’s Capital have been proven correct by developments in contemporary capitalism, so too, have all the fundamentals of Lenin’s theory of imperialism. It remains an essential starting point for understanding the principal international developments today. (Sam King)


Karl Marx – Frederick Engels

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow
Papercover– 56 pages

In the two articles comprising this booklet Lenin takes us through the main stages in the development of the theoretial views of Marx and Engels and dwells on their joint revolutionary activities. The articles contain a concise and at the same time profound study of Marxism and all its component parts. Lenin emphasises the creative nature of Marxism as a guide to action and its incompatibility with revisionism and dogmatism.


“Left-wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970
Papercover – 144 pages

Takes up important questions such as whether revolutionaries should work in reactionary trade unions, participate in bourgeois parliaments, use legal or illegal methods of struggle and other important aspects of putting Marxism into practice. “Our theory is not a dogma, but a guide to action said Marx and Engels.”


Lenin: Selected Works

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968
Hardcover – 782 pages

The vast leterary legacy left by Vladimir Lenin is of inestimable value to the world communist movement and the whole of progressive mankind. During the thirty years from 1893 to 1923 he wrote hundreds of books and pamphlets, and thousands of articles and letters, and delivered reports and speeches at numerous Party congresses and conferences, congresses of Soviets, and meetings of working people. His works constitute the new, Leninist stage of the development of revolutionary Marxist theory. This volume consists of selected works in which Lenin develops the key propisitions of Marxist theory and shows how important this theory is to the liberation struggle of the proletariat and qall other working people.


Letters of Tactics

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970
Papercover – 103 pages

Quote: “As long as we are unable to disband the bourgeois parliament, we must work against it both from without and within. As long as a more or less appreciable number of working people (not only proletarians, but also semi-proletarians and small peasants) still have confidence in the bourgeois-democratic instruments employed by the bourgeoisie for duping the workers, we must expose that deception from the very platform which the backward sections of the workers, particularly of the non-proletarian working people, consider most important, and authoritative.” (page 41)


Marxism and Revisionism

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1980
Papercover – 21 pages

Written in 1908 for the collection Karl Mark (1818-1883) dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Marx’s death. The article deals with the problems of the struggle against revisionism, which he thought most important at the period of reactionary outburst in Russia after the defeat of the 1905-7 revolution.


Materialism and Empirio-criticism

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1947
Hardcover – 382 pages

In this book Lenin examines those who are hostile towards dialectical materialism: “All these people could not have been ignorant of the fact that Marx and Engels scores of times termed their philosphical views dialectic materialism. Yet all these people, who, despite the sharp divergence of their political views, are united in their hostility towards dialectical materialism, at the same time claim to be Marxist in philosophy!”

“ ... the task I have set myself in these comments is to find out what was the stumbling-block to these people who under the guise of Marxism are offering something incredibly muddled, confused and reactionary.”


One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1969
Papercover – 232 pages

Another classic in which Lenin studies the speeches of delegates and the political divisions at the Second Party Congress, drawing comparisons between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks (opportunists). There are many lessons to be learnt from the ideological struggle which are relevant today.


State and Revolution

by Vladimir Lenin
International Publishers, New York, 1932
Papercover – 103 pages

The concept of the state is fundamental to understanding capitalist society and the revolutionary process. “The state is a product and a manifestation of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms. The state arises where, when and insofar as class antagonism objectively cannot be reconciled. And, conversely, the existence of the state proves that the class antagonisms are irreconcilable, Lenin writes in State and Revolution.

This important booklet clarifies what Engels and Marx said about the conditions in which the state exists and its role in class society. Lenin counters the distortions that are propagated by bourgeois writers and explains the well-known term “withering away of the state”.


The April Theses

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1951
Papercover – 75 pages

The April Theses formed a programme developed by Lenin during the 1917 Russian Revolution. In these Lenin called for Soviet control of the state. When published the theses contributed to the July Days rising and to the subsequent coup d’etat of October 1917, bringing the Bolsheviks to power.


The Emancipation of Women

From the writings of Vladimir Lenin
International Publishers, New York, 1934-1966 (1995)
Papercover – 136 pages

These selections cover a wide variety of topics related to the problems of women in society. The origins and persistence of discriminatory and oppressive practices and modes of thought, the family, the important role of women in social movements and the need to combat predjuical hangovers from the past are discussed. Significant for today is the thought Lenin gave to the need for women to have special demands and organizations of their own, within the movement of socialism and the true emancipation of women by way of victorious struggle. (Back cover)


The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Mosow, 1934
Paperback – 112 pages

A collection of articles by Lenin taken from his Collected Works (Corrections in accordance with Fifth Russian edition).

Articles include:

  • How Kautsky Turned Marx into a Common Liberal
  • Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy
  • Can There Be Equality Between the Exploited and the Exploiter?


The State

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964
Papercover– 18 pages (CPA reprint)

“The state is a machine for maintaining the rule of one class over another.” Lenin.


What is to be Done?

by Vladimir Lenin
Progress Publishers, 1961 - 2014
Paperback – 206 pages

Essential reading for any revolutionary in which Lenin analyses the organisational principles of and the tasks facing a revolutionary party and the differences between it and a party of social reform, and struggles based on economism.



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