Capital V1 [Penguin Classics]

Capital V1 [Penguin Classics]
: New


"What chance has Vulcan against Roberts & Co., Jupiter against the lightning-rod and Hermes against the Credit Mobilier? All mythology overcomes and dominates and shapes the forces of nature in the imagination and by the imagination; it therefore vanishes with the advent of real mastery over them." -Marx, Grundrisse (Also a Penguin Classic)

The image on the front cover of the Penguin Classics editions of Marx's Capital Volume I comes from Adolph von Menzel's painting "The Modern Cyclops". The image is fitting, not only in how it captures the harrowing danger of mass industrial labor, but also in how such awe-striking powers can breed their own kind of mythology. Part of Marx's great work describes the rise of massive machines taking on the features of "an animated monster", confronting workers who seem to be at the mercy of the machine rather than the machine's masters. A crucial intervention by Marx in this book is to pierce through mystifying forms of economic understanding that naturalize such abasement of human beings in capitalist production. Instead, he offers workers a critical analysis of the economic system that binds them and an opening to seize hold of the forces that subject them. Conor

The first volume of a political treatise that changed the world

One of the most notorious works of modern times, as well as one of the most influential, Capital is an incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis and create fresh insights. Arguing that capitalism would cause an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. Capital rapidly acquired readership among the leaders of social democratic parties, particularly in Russia in Germany, and ultimately throughout the world, to become a work described by Marx friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels as "the Bible of the working class."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publication Date: 
May 5, 1992