First published in 1985, Thomas Sowell's book is a crisp, lucid and commonsensical introduction to Marx's own writings and to Marxist theory. It combines readability with intellectual rigour and distils more than a quarter of a century of Thomas Sowell's research and thought on the philosophical and economic doctrines of Karl Marx.
Its central theme is that Marxian philosophy must be understood before Marxian economics can be defined. The book discusses Marx's ideas, including his philosophy of history, concept of capitalist "exploitation", morality and business cycle theory. The author's treatment is balanced, though often critical and displays a mastery of Marx's own writings which are liberally extracted throughout the text.