This re-publication of a long out-of-print collection of essays, first published in 1979 focuses on the elusive concept of value. The field of study surrounding the theory of value remains comparatively sparse in Anglophone circles, and this collection of essays aims to answer the question why is Marx's theory of value important? Beginning with Reading Marx on Value: A Note on the Basic Texts by Aboo Aumeeruddy and Ramon Tortajada, this essay introduces the key interpretive debates surrounding value form. Also featured is Jairus Banaji's seminal essay, From the Commodity to Capital: Hegel's Dialectic in Marx's Capital , complemented by Chris Arthur's Dialectic of the Value Form. Further on, the labour theory of value is interrogated in Why Labour is the starting point of Capital by Geoffrey Kay, and Misreading Marx's Theory of Value: Marx's Marginal Notes on Wagner by Athar Hussain. Finally Diane Elson argues for the importance of Marx's Value Theory of Labour. These well-written and erudite texts provide a great introduction and also a refresher for those new and well versed in Marxist political ecomy.
Diane Elson is an emeritus professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. She writes on Marxist theory, development and human rights. Recently she has made vital contributions to the discourse on economic and social rights and gender inequality.