MLM Study Guide

For New Students of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism


      This is a short reading list of key works of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, along with other books and pamphlets about MLM, which are recommended to people interested in learning the basics of revolutionary Marxism. Within each major topic, the items are arranged more or less in the recommended reading order, not in the order of their intrinsic importance.

      Most of these books and pamphlets have been published by many different publishers, though usually only one or two is mentioned here. An asterisk by the publisher info indicates that the item is known to still be in print from that source. Unfortunately, some of these works are becoming difficult to obtain from any publisher, but you should be able to order most of them from one of the sources on my list of revolutionary & radical bookstores. Most of these works can also be found in good used bookstores. And many of these works are also available online; one of the best places is

      If you have specific criticisms or suggestions for this list, please email them to me at:

      —Scott H.

  1. Intro to MLM
    1. Marx & Engels: Communist Manifesto, many editions. *(NY: International Publishers, 1948 (35th printing)), paper $2.00.
    2. Engels: Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1975), 108 pp.); *(NY: International, 1994 reprint), paper $2.95. This is an excerpt from Engels' work Anti-Dühring, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 470 pp. At some point reading the entire volume is highly recommended.
    3. Lenin: Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, (Peking: FLP, 1977), 8 pp.
    4. Lenin: Karl Marx, (Peking: FLP, 1970), 63 pp.
    5. Lenin: Introduction to Marx, Engels, Marxism, *(NY: International, 1987), 108 pp., paper $2.95. [Contains the above two items, plus more.]
    6. Mao: Quotations from Mao Tsetung, (Peking: FLP, 1967), 312 pp.; *(China Books & Periodicals, 1990), $9.95.
    7. Marx: Critique of the Gotha Program, *(NY: International, 1988 (1966)), 116 pp., paper $3.45.
    8. Lenny Wolf: The Science of Revolution: An Introduction, (Chicago: RCP Publications, 1983), 252 pp.

  2. Marxist Philosophy (Dialectical Materialism)
    1. Mao: On Contradiction [Included in Mao's Selected Readings; see info under Chinese Revolution.]
    2. Mao: On Practice [Also included in Selected Readings.]
    3. Lenin: Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, (Peking: FLP, 1972), 450 pp.
    4. Stalin: Dialectical and Historical Materialism, (NY: International, 1970), 48 pp.
    5. Marx, Engels, Lenin: Reader in Marxist Philosophy, ed. by Howard Selsam & Harry Martel, *(NY: International, 1970), 384 pp., paper $6.95.
    6. Engels: Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical Philosophy, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 185 pp.; *(NY: International, 1996 (1988)), paper $4.50.
    7. Engels: Dialectics of Nature, (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1972), 382 pp.
    8. Lenin: Philosophical Notebooks [Vol. 38 of Lenin's Collected Works.]

  3. Historical Materialism
    1. Marx: Preface and Introduction to "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy", (Peking: FLP, 1976), 63 pp. [The full volume is currently available from International Publishers in paperback for $5.95.]
    2. Engels: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, *(NY: International, 1994 (1972)), 267 pp., paper $7.95.
    3. Marx: Critique of the Gotha Programme, (Peking: FLP, 1972), 91 pp.
    4. Plekhanov: Fundamental Problems of Marxism *(NY: International, 1992 (1969)), 160 pp., paper $6.95. [Includes his two essays: "The Materialist Conception of History" and "The Role of the Individual in History".]
    5. Lenin: The Tasks of the Youth Leagues, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 22 pp. [On ML morality.]
    6. Lenin: The State and Revolution, (Peking: FLP, 1965), paper, 151 pp.; *(NY: International, 1994 (1943)), 103 pp., paper $2.75.
    7. Lenin: Lenin on War and Peace: Three Articles, (Peking: FLP, 1970), paper, 108 pp.

  4. Political Economy (Economics) of Capitalism
    1. Marx: Wages, Price and Profit, (Peking: FLP, 1965), paper, 83 pp.   This pamphlet is also known in other editions as Value, Price and Profit.
    2. Marx: Wage-Labour and Capital, (NY: International, 1969), 48 pp. [International publishers currently has in print a combined edition of this and the above item, 110 pp., paper $4.95.]
    3. Lenin: Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, (Peking: FLP, 1975), paper, 158 pp.; *(NY: International, 1996 (1969)), paper $2.95.
    4. Marx: Capital, 3 vols., (NY: International, 1967), 714 pp. + 523 pp. + 910 pp. [Vol. 1 is in print in paperback for $12.95; vols. 2 & 3 are out of print.] But new editions now available in hardcover as volumes 35-37 of Marx-Engels Collected Works, *(NY: International, 1996-98), $25 each for vols. 35 & 36; $35 for vol. 37; *(NY: Penguin), paperback, vol. 1 $16.95, vol. 2 $6.95, vol. 3 $15.95. Capital does take some effort to get through; it is a serious scientific work. But it definitely repays the effort that it takes. As Engels remarked: "Since socialism became a science, it must be pursued as a science; that is, it must be studied."
    5. Political Economy: Marxist Study Courses (NY: Banner Press, 1976), 548 pp. Out of print, but sometimes available in used book stores. Originally issued as a series of pamphlets by the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1932-33. This is a good alternative for those who get bogged down in Capital; but give Capital a serious try first. Although it is shorter than Capital and a bit easier going, it also lacks most of the great intellectual sparks with which Capital is filled.

  5. Political Economy of Socialism
    1. Mao: A Critique of Soviet Economics, (NY: Monthly Review Press, 1977).
    2. Maoist Economics & the Revolutionary Road to Communism ["The Shanghai Textbook"], ed. by Raymond Lotta, *(NY: Banner Press, 1994), 334 pp., paper $15.00.

  6. The Proletarian Party
    1. Lenin: What is to be Done?, (Peking: FLP, 1973), 253 pp.; *(NY: International, 1992), 200 pp., $5.75.
    2. Lenin: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 300 pp.
    3. Lenin: 'Left'-Wing Communism—An Infantile Disorder, (Peking: FLP, 1965), 133 pp.; *(NY: International, 1989), 96 pp., paper $2.50.
    4. A Basic Understanding of the Communist Party of China (Toronto: Norman Bethune Institute, 1976), 222 pp. Originally published in Shanghai in 1974.
    5. Lenin: Party Work in the Masses, (Moscow: Progress, 1969), 164 pp.

  7. Revolutionary Struggles in 19th Century Europe
    1. Marx: Class Struggles in France: 1848-1850, *(NY: International, 1964), 158 pp., paper $7.95.
    2. Marx: The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, *(NY: International, 1963), 128 pp., paper $5.95. "A famous example of historical materialist analysis."
    3. Marx: The Civil War in France, (Peking: FLP, 1970), 287 pp.; *(NY: International, 1988), 182 pp., paper $8.95. [Omits some material in the Peking edition, but includes some of Lenin's remarks on the Paris Commune.]

  8. The Russian Revolution
    1. Lenin: Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, (Peking: FLP, 1970), 167 pp.; *(NY: International, 1989), paper $3.25.
    2. Lenin: The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, (Peking: FLP, 1965), 145 pp.
    3. John Reed: Ten Days that Shook the World, *(NY: International, 1967), 445 pp., paper $6.95.

  9. The Chinese Revolution
    1. Mao: Selected Readings From the Works of Mao Tsetung, (Peking: FLP, 1971), 504 pp.
    2. William Hinton: Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village, (NY: Monthly Review, 1966), 626 pp.; *(Univ. of California Press, 1997), 637 pp., paper $17.95 [ = $14.36].

  10. On Women's Liberation
    1. Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin: The Woman Question, (NY: International, 1969 (1951)), 96 pp.
    2. Lenin: The Emancipation of Women, *(NY: International, 1969), 136 pp., paper $6.95.

  11. The National Question and National Liberation Struggles
    1. Lenin: On the National and Colonial Questions: Three Articles, (Peking: FLP, 1967), 40 pp.

  12. The American Revolutionary Movement
    1. Bob Avakian: In the Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, More on "Could We Really Win?", (Chicago: RCP Publications, 1991), 91 pp., paperback $5.00.
    2. Bob Avakian: Phony Communism is Dead... Long Live Real Communism, *(Chicago: RCP Publications, 1992), 123 pp., paper $5.00.
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