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Capitalism's Contradictions
Studies of Economic Thought Before and After Marx
Henryk Grossman’s substantial essays highlight vital but still neglected aspects of Marx’s economic theory
Henryk Grossman was one of the best-known and most influential Marxist economists of the 20th century, and yet most of his work remains unavailable to English-speaking audiences. His most famous book, The Law of Accumulation and Breakdown of the Capitalist System—written while Grossman was a member of the illustrious Frankfurt School—has been a point of reference for several generations of revolutionaries discontent with both Keynesian and Stalinist claims about Capitalism’s stability.

This volume, collected and introduced by Deutscher Prize winning Grossman biographer Rick Kuhn, assembles several of the Galician Marxist’s most important essays, and serves as an accessible introduction to his project of ‘recovering’ Marx. Throughout the collection, Grossman highlights distinctive features of Marx’s economic theory by contrasting it with the views of his forerunners, from Adam Smith to Jean Charles Sismondi. He then moves on to show how many Marxist economists import faulty assumptions from mainstream economics into their analyses, and in the process provides a unique overview of the major debates among Marxists over politics and economics between Marx’s death and the rise of Fascism in Germany.

Rick Kuhn’s invaluable introduction provides vital context for understanding the development of Grossman’s ideas and makes the case for their continued relevance to contemporary activists.
Reviews
  • “Grossman was an invaluable contributor to the development of Marxist political economy since Marx’s death in 1883. An activist in the Polish Social Democrat party and later in the Communist party in Germany, Grossman, in my view, made major contributions in explaining and developing Marx’s theory of value and crises under capitalism.”
    Michael Roberts, author of The Long Depression

    “Henryk Grossman (1881-1950) was one of the most significant Marxist theoreticians in the fields of political economy and the history of scientific thought in the first half of the twentieth century. . .the publication of this collection of five long essays or ‘monographs’, mostly devoted to the history and development of economic theory, is very welcome."
    Pete Green, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Other books by Henryk Grossman

  • Henryk Grossman Works, Volume 1

    The first volume in an ambitious effort to collect and translate the work of the eminent Austrian Marxist economist Henryk Grossman