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book reviews

July 4, 2010

I recently finished reading a couple of the books I received for my birthday and I figured I would throw a blog post up about them. The first book was Marx at the Margins by Kevin Anderson, and the second book was Iron Council by China Mieville.

I really enjoyed Anderson’s book on Marx. It covers material Marx created for newspapers and his own personal notes on places such as India, Ireland, Russia and China. There is some people who take some of Marx comments on history to mean that he shared the same sort of western chauvinism, however Anderson shows that this is simply not true, and that the French version of Capital shows this turn in Marx’s thoughts. As I commented in a previous post on this book, Marx suggests that in his time support for Polish or Irish liberation was a benchmark by which to measure a persons politcal stances. I feel that this is very similiar to the position Palestine occupies today.

The second book I finished was Mieville’s Iron Council, which is one of his Bas-ag books. I have read Perdido Street Station,but not the Scar. I really enjoyed thisw book, and really sped throuhg the last couple hundred pages. The insurgency that occurs in the city was very interesting and wish it had been covered more. I think it is interesting the way the remades work, as they are part-human and part machine, serving as indentured workers. These workers not only give their labour, but become a means of production, and are alienated from their own bodies. The way remade are forced to break strikes allows the normal humans to dispise them and view them as enemies, very much like the way the original British colonists ordered the codification of black slavery following Bacon’s Rebellion.

Overall I would reccemend both of these books to anyone who is interested in marxism. After reading Anderson’s book on Marx, the sentiments expressed in Iron Council seem very familiar. China Mieville wrote a very interesting article I read in the Collapse Journal #4, which can be downloaded at the following link.


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