[OPE-L] Publishing and selling books on political economy

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu May 25 2006 - 13:27:22 EDT

Ha Jerry you sound like a businessman. There is at the moment IMO on the
supply side very little that is creative happening in this area of
publishing, and very little original empirical research is being done. It's
mainly just writers using old books to compile new books.

As Samuel Bowles suggested, "Marxism" is in reality a largely exhausted
discourse, and as Jonathan Nitzan noted, "Marxism" is inimical to Marx's own
lifework, though Marx himself continues to inspire (and exhaust) many
people. On the demand side, I think many people are interested in the "big
picture" but vague, abstract treatises about "the political economy of
globalisation" are just not very informative. The language they use is often
inpenetrable as well. You cannot use them for anything, so it's mainly
academics talking to other academics.

As a rule, what you do with this type of question is, you look at what
actually does sell well, what people do want to read and what is relevant to

Personally I did order a book today, Christian Girschner's work on the
services economy (in German), a specialist area I am interested in, but
apart from that, there would be few "Marxist" books I'd buy - they mainly
just recycle the old stuff in one way or another (with a few honorable
exceptions). They exhibit more the love of an ancient language, than real
new insight into reality.


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