A Communism Reading List

Since people have been asking about updating my old Marxism reading guides on Amazon’s website I used to link to, I spent most of yesterday evening compiling a new one. It is of course provisional, with most likely various works that should be in there left out, either due to my ignorance of them or my absent-mindedness; but it is a consciously idiosyncratic, personal list. The guiding thread is to recommend materials that for me where formative in the development of my thoughts and worldview insofar as it relates to communism.

The link can be found, internet deities permitting, here. Although it must be understood that many different lists could be made and the selections of what counts as major and what counts as minor are always to some extent arbitrary, input and comments are certainly appreciated.


Thanks for the list! I’ve already read a lot of books on the list but I’m sure this would have been very helpful back when I was a confused beginner. I think a list like this is necessary since, at least in the U.S., most people(even in university I find) that are curious about socialism are completely ignorant of the wealth of theory and literature on marxism. When I was a student that just started to get interested in socialism I was taken aback at how much marxist literature there was. I will definitely link this to my friends who are in a similar position now.

Also, is there a reason you can’t stand Althusser other than him being really hard to read? I’m no expert on Althusser’s thought, but I found his work on ideology to be really enlightening.

I didn’t even know there were Marxist critiques of Lean (and by extension Agile, my current field of expertise) until now. Thanks, Mccaine!

Thank you for the list, it’s been very helpful to me so far. I would like to point out one small thing: In the first section, you recommend both “Karl Marx: Early Writings” and “Preface to a Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy”, but the latter is included in the former.

An excellent resource. What would you recommend for deeper reading on the confrontation between left/egalitarian readings of democracy and liberal theories of democracy? E.g., Rancière, Abensour, Mouffe, etc.? Particularly in North America, the deliberative conception of democracy continues to crowd out serious consideration of alternative interpretations.

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