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Rowman & Littlefield


I first began to study Marx some twenty-three years ago. In those days there were many things that made it easy to become interested in Marx: among them the political ferment of the late 1960s and the fact that at the University of California at San Diego, where I was a graduate student, there were several important and interesting Marxists - Fredric Jameson, Herbert Marcuse, and Stanley Moore. The latter two were my teachers in the Philosophy Department, and the latter, to whom this book is dedicated, became my dissertation director. Moreover, the spirit of Marx was in the air and it seemed necessary to read him to understand what was happening in the world.

Despite the political ferment of the late 1960s, there were things that made it difficult for me to accept Marx at first. As an undergraduate, I had studied in a great books program at St. Mary's College of California, and the Philosophy Department at UC San Diego, very much under the influence of Richard Popkin at that time, took a history of ideas approach to philosophy. There were things about Marx that seemed at odds with my whole educational background. Some of his texts, especially the Communist Manifesto, made him seem like a sort of communist Descartes, like someone who would sweep aside all past culture, tradition, and morality-as if there were nothing of value to be found there-and start over with a clean slate. 1

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