The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey - review by Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan

‘What is to be Done?’

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism


Profile Books 296pp £14.99

David Harvey is an unusual character. He is a devoted Marxist; a critic might say devout. He is also a Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York, having previously been Professor of Geography at Oxford and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. His books on urban geography have been immensely influential; and his online companion to Marx’s Capital has been downloaded by a quarter of a million students. He writes vigorously, clearly, and very readably.

Nonetheless, it is extremely hard to give anything like a thumbnail sketch of what The Enigma of Capital is actually about. It is about so much and so many things that seizing on one main point is just about impossible. Harvey’s expository technique is somewhat reminiscent of Marx’s

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