Crafting Gentleness

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reading Karl Marx's Capital with Prof. David Harvey

From Indymedia Ireland

David Harvey makes his long-running City University of New York course on Volume One of Karl Marx's Capital available for free online.

Capital is perhaps the most important text Karl Marx wrote. It is one of the most influential books ever written, particularly in terms of left wing theory and political economy. However it is more often talked about than actually read and it has an only partially justified reputation for being difficult to understand.

For nearly 40 years, Professor David Harvey, the eminent social geographer and urban theorist, has been teaching a course on the book to postgraduate students at universities including the City University of New York and John Hopkins University in Baltimore. This is a very well known course in academia and quite a few prominent Marxist and other left wing academics took it themselves. The course consists of 13 two hour lectures, an introductory lecture and then 12 more dealing with specific sections of the text, mostly two chapters at a time.

For the first time Prof. Harvey is putting all of these lectures online for free, under a creative commons license similar to the one used by Indymedia Ireland. Each lecture he gives in this course at CUNY is filmed and then placed on his website, including questions and discussion from his postgraduate students. The idea is that people who are interested in learning about Capital can follow the course online, first watching the introduction and then reading the assigned chapters of the book before watching the next lecture.

Prof. Harvey is himself an interesting thinker and he is an engaging speaker who knows Capital inside out. For anyone who is thinking about reading or re-reading Capital (Vol. 1) and grappling with the ideas contained in it, this is likely to prove an extremely useful resource.

The lectures are placed at as they are completed.

The text of Capital can be found here:


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