Economics: Verso Student Reading

Michael-douglas-image-michael-douglas-36314420-500-331-

After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition. Neoliberal economics isn't working and students are demanding more from their course reading than the 8th edition of Macroeconomics can provide. Here we present a list of books that challenge the mainstream neoliberal consensus and offer powerful alternative models in contemporary economics.

See all our student reading here.

The radical geographer guides us through the classic text of political economy.

Following the success of his companion to the first volume of Capital, Harvey turns his attention to Volume 2, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and often-neglected text. 

This is a must-read for anyone wanting a fuller understanding of Marx's political economy. 

Historical Capitalism, published here with its companion essay Capitalist Civilization, is a concise, compelling beginners’ guide to one of the most challenging and influential assessments of capitalism as a world-historic mode of production.

The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets. In this book, acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck looks at what the end of capitalism might look like.

In this accessible, brilliantly argued book, leading political economist Ann Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history’s most misunderstood invention: the money system. 

In this sharp, witty and deeply informed account, Mirowski—taking no prisoners in his pursuit of “zombie” economists—surveys the wreckage of what passes for economic thought, finally providing the basis for an anti-neoliberal assessment of the current crisis and our future prospects.

In this groundbreaking work, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin demonstrate the intimate relationship between modern capitalism and the American state.

This first volume in Rosa Luxemburg’s Complete Works, entitled Economic Writings 1, contains some of Luxemburg’s most important statements on the globalization of capital, wage labor, imperialism, and pre-capitalist economic formations.

The second volume in Rosa Luxemburg’s Complete Works contains a new English translation of Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital: A Contribution to the Economic Theory of Imperialism, one of the most important works ever composed on capitalism’s incessant drive for self-expansion and the integral connection between capitalism and imperialism.

A groundbreaking debunking of moderate attempts to resolve financial crises.

A beginner’s guide to The General Theory, useful for anyone interested in what the book actually says and does not say. It is straightforward and accessible, but it doesn’t skimp on the detail - explaining Keynes’s ideas, the reasons he thought they were new, and the older theories he hoped to supplant. 

Given the sensational reception of Piketty’s not-so-easily digested 800-page study, the question as to where the hype around the book comes from deserves to be asked. What does it get right? And what should we make of it—both of the book itself and of the criticism it has received? This introduction lays out the argument of Piketty’s monumental work in a compact and understandable format, while also investigating the controversies Piketty has stirred up. 

In The Origin of Capitalism, a now-classic work of history, Ellen Meiksins Wood offers readers a clear and accessible introduction to the theories and debates concerning the birth of capitalism, imperialism, and the modern nation state. 

In this lucid and compelling book, economist Cédric Durand offers a concise and critical introduction to the world of finance, unveiling the truth behind the credit crunch.

Late Capitalism is a landmark in Marxist economic literature. Specifically designed to explain the international recession of the 1970s, it is a central guide to understanding the nature of the world economic crisis today.

In this new edition of a highly acclaimed book, Wolfgang Streeck revisits his recent arguments in the light of Brexit and the continued crisis of the EU.

Financialized capitalism is prone to crises, none greater than the gigantic turmoil that began in 2007. Using abundant empirical data, the book establishes the causes of the crisis and discusses the options broadly available for controlling finance.

A classic of political economy that traces the influence of religious thought on capitalism.

The Panama Papers were a reminder of how the superrich are allowed to hide their wealth from the rest of us. Dirty Secrets uncovers the extent of the corruption behind this crisis and shows what needs to be done in the face of this unregulated spread of rampant greed.

A clear and compact guide to Marx’s road to Das Kapital.

Marx on Money is an elegant analysis of how money, credit, debt and value fit into the “logic of capital” that characterizes commodity society.

Michel Aglietta’s path-breaking book is the first attempt at a rigorous historical theory of the whole development of US capitalism, from the Civil War to the Carter presidency.

These incisive and erudite texts provide a crucial introduction to Marxist political economy, as well as advancing critical arguments for those already well versed in the field.

**********