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Letter: Briefly

YOU LIST Karl Marx's Das Kapital as one of the most well-known but least read books of the last couple of centuries ("So many books, so little time", 1 November). Harold Wilson claimed he never got beyond the introduction, and Tony Blair has not heard of Keynes, let alone Marx. I'm not sure that Marx expected Das Kapital to be a best seller, although its basic ideas, such as workers not getting paid the full rate for their labour and the tendency of capitalism towards crisis, seem hugely relevant in 1998. However The Communist Manifesto, on its 150th anniversary, remains a best seller. One wonders if that will be said about any New Labour treatise 150 years hence.


Tottenham, London N17