A scholarly study thoroughly researched but ponderous and suitable only for those with a burning desire to see Marxist...

WHY MARX WAS WRONG

A detailed debunking of Marxist philosophy.

Eubank (The Case Against Capital, 2001), a former computer programmer and consultant, says his book is intended “to show that Marx’s central accusation against capitalism—that it enriches capitalists only via their exploitation of laborers, through the extraction of unpaid ‘surplus value’ from them—is a fallacy.” The author adeptly uses Marx’s own work Capital: A Critique of Political Economy to skewer the socialist philosopher, highlighting statements Marx made and refuting them one by one. Eubank adds his own commentary (which is unerringly critical of Marx) and cites the writings of others to support his pro-capitalist argument. Essentially, chapters follow the basic format of quoting passages from Marx’s work and lambasting them. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is the comparison of Marxist theory to the economic theory of Adam Smith. In this section, Eubank contrasts Marx’s labor theory—which he says “has all the typical characteristics of ‘paranoid conspiracy theories’ or ideologies”—to Smith’s labor theory, which “is more a ‘labor, rents and profits’ theory than a ‘labor theory.’ And ultimately, as a theory of what determines market price, [Smith’s] is a “supply-and-demand” theory, not a labor theory at all.” Ultimately, Eubank concludes: “Smith writes as a scientist or investigator of the facts, Marx as a medieval Scholastic.” Unfortunately, the book has a weakness: it is dull and plodding rather than lively and engaging. Quite a bit of the text in the 500-plus pages seems to take on Marx’s writings at a highly technical level. At times, the sentence-by-sentence analysis feels dry and pedantic, certain to be tiresome for the average reader. And since the book concentrates almost solely on a single work of Marx’s, it has a very narrow focus. As a result, this tome is likely to be most appropriate for academics and others with more than a casual interest in Marxist philosophy as it compares to capitalism.

A scholarly study thoroughly researched but ponderous and suitable only for those with a burning desire to see Marxist theory deconstructed.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463434151

Page Count: 516

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2015

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Skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being.

MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS

Full-immersion journalist Kidder (Home Town, 1999, etc.) tries valiantly to keep up with a front-line, muddy-and-bloody general in the war against infectious disease in Haiti and elsewhere.

The author occasionally confesses to weariness in this gripping account—and why not? Paul Farmer, who has an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Harvard, appears to be almost preternaturally intelligent, productive, energetic, and devoted to his causes. So trotting alongside him up Haitian hills, through international airports and Siberian prisons and Cuban clinics, may be beyond the capacity of a mere mortal. Kidder begins with a swift account of his first meeting with Farmer in Haiti while working on a story about American soldiers, then describes his initial visit to the doctor’s clinic, where the journalist felt he’d “encountered a miracle.” Employing guile, grit, grins, and gifts from generous donors (especially Boston contractor Tom White), Farmer has created an oasis in Haiti where TB and AIDS meet their Waterloos. The doctor has an astonishing rapport with his patients and often travels by foot for hours over difficult terrain to treat them in their dwellings (“houses” would be far too grand a word). Kidder pauses to fill in Farmer’s amazing biography: his childhood in an eccentric family sounds like something from The Mosquito Coast; a love affair with Roald Dahl’s daughter ended amicably; his marriage to a Haitian anthropologist produced a daughter whom he sees infrequently thanks to his frenetic schedule. While studying at Duke and Harvard, Kidder writes, Farmer became obsessed with public health issues; even before he’d finished his degrees he was spending much of his time in Haiti establishing the clinic that would give him both immense personal satisfaction and unsurpassed credibility in the medical worlds he hopes to influence.

Skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2003

ISBN: 0-375-50616-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2003

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A fun, educational book which can be enjoyed in and out of the kitchen.

MY HOUSE CHEF

: COOKING WITH LORY AND MAZEL

This highly original children’s cookbook is full of delicious and imaginative recipes, but could benefit from adding healthier and lower-fat alternative recipes.

Whether it’s a beef-filled zucchini boat riding atop a sea of blue spaghetti or fudge cars with gumdrop wheels and lollipop passengers, these fanciful recipes are sure to tempt children. Lory and Mazel are two cartoon mice who guide the reader through the book, donning various costumes according to the theme of each recipe. Children will love the mix of photos, cartoons and colorful graphics. Though many recipes include healthy ingredients, many also contain heavy cream and/or sugar, and white bread is the preferred choice over wheat. A great addition would be healthier versions of these dishes, listing the percentage of daily recommended vitamins, and number of fat and sugar grams in each. But there’s more to the book than simply recipes–a chart lists the approximate recommended serving sizes for children from ages six to 12 in clever, kid-friendly terms. For example, one serving of grain would be half a medium bagel or approximately the size of a hockey puck. Vidal explains the metric and imperial systems of measurement, and gives a lesson given on vitamins and the effect they have on our health. The author also includes a page identifying various kitchen utensils in charming illustrations. For children–and adults–who are flummoxed about proper place settings, there’s a diagram explaining the function and placement of each plate, bowl and utensil. The recipes provide illustrated step-by-step directions, pointing out techniques which may require parental help or supervision. Parents seeking a quick dinner or snack should be forewarned–many of these recipes not only require mixing food colors, but involve some complicated assembly.

A fun, educational book which can be enjoyed in and out of the kitchen.

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4389-7697-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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