March 30, 2017

[From an email.]

…Of course it's true that every event in history depends on contingencies. [I had said the Russian Revolution depended on a series of accidents, and my interlocutor had replied that’s true of everything in history.] The point is that the transition from capitalism to socialism is supposed to happen virtually by necessity (as Marx argued in the Manifesto and other...

March 28, 2017

In history, few topics can be more relevant to our own world than the origin of capitalism. Ellen Meiksins Wood's book on that subject (second edition published by Verso in 2002) is a brilliant commentary on and synthesis of earlier scholarship that everyone interested in capitalism should read. The next best thing, though, is to read the notes I took on it.

March 5, 2017

I recently read a book by Chris Bambery called The Second World War: A Marxist History (2014) and decided it was good enough to take notes on. I posted them on, here. Marxist interpretations are typically the most interesting and valuable, so I recommend you read either the notes or the book itself. Especially because World War II was such a formative influence on ou...

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