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

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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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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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A compellingly investigated, relentlessly gloomy report on the drug distribution industry.

DREAMLAND

Discouraging, unflinching dispatches from America’s enduring opiate-abuse epidemic.

Veteran freelance journalist Quinones (Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration, 2007, etc.) cogently captures the essence of the festering war on drugs throughout the 1990s. He focuses on the market for black tar heroin, a cheap, potent, semiprocessed drug smuggled into the United States from Nayarit, a state on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The author charts its dissemination throughout American heartland cities like Columbus and Portsmouth, Ohio, home to a huge, family-friendly swimming pool named Dreamland, which closed in 1993, after which opiates “made easy work of a landscape stripped of any communal girding.” Assembling history through varying locales and personal portraits, Quinones follows a palpable trail of heartbreak, misery and the eventual demise of seemingly harmless people “shape-shifted into lying, thieving slaves to an unseen molecule.” The author provides an insider’s glimpse into the drug trade machine, examining the evolution of medical narcotic destigmatization, the OxyContin-heroin correlation and the machinations of manipulative pharmaceutical companies. His profiles include a West Virginia father burying his overdosed son, a diabolically resourceful drug dealer dubbed “the Man,” and “Enrique,” a Mexican citizen who entered the drug trade as a dealer for his uncle at 14. Perhaps most intriguing is the author’s vivid dissection of the “cross-cultural heroin deal,” consisting of an interconnected, hive-minded “retail system” of telephone operators, dealers (popularly known as the “Xalisco Boys”) and customers; everything is efficiently and covertly marketed “like a pizza delivery service” and franchised nationwide with precision. The author’s text, the result of a five-year endeavor of remote research and in-person interviews, offers a sweeping vantage point of the nation’s ever expanding drug problem. Though initially disjointed, these frustrating and undeniably disheartening scenarios eventually dovetail into a disturbing tapestry of abuse, addiction and death. Thankfully, for a fortunate few, rebirth is possible.

A compellingly investigated, relentlessly gloomy report on the drug distribution industry.

Pub Date: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-1620402504

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

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