From the irony files: Copy of ‘Das Kapital’ sells for $40,000


Karl Marx was not a big fan of capitalism, as he explained in his landmark book “Das Kapital.” Ironically, a first edition of it sold for big bucks at AbeBooks last week for a whopping $40,000.

In the book, the philosophical basis of Marxism, Marx wrote about the fetishization of commodities, decried the bourgeoisie and argued against the exploitation of labor.

Safe to say it wasn’t a strict Marxist who could afford to drop $40,000 on a book.


It is the second-most expensive purchase made through AbeBooks in 2014, behind a French art nouveau poster collection that went for more than $43,000. AbeBooks is a storefront for hundreds of used bookstores across the country.

The copy of “Das Kapital” that sold for $40,000 is a first edition. It was published in Germany, in German, by Otto Meissner in 1867.

Perhaps the workings of capitalism are coming back in fashion. This is, after all, the summer of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the 700-page bestseller about income inequality by a French economist.

However, AbeBooks notes that despite the critiques, capitalism is doing just fine: the day its “Das Kapital” sold, the Dow hit 17,068 points, an all-time high.

Like passing notes in class; I’m @paperhaus on Twitter