St. Petersburg: A. Benke, 1893. Item #38
XVI, 353, (1) pp. + 29 tables. 8vo. Contemporary quarter-leather binding with gilt-lettering on the spine. Boards are slightly rubbed. Good condition. Rare.
Nikolay Francevich Danielson (1844-1918) was a pivotal figure in Russian economic thought. He was responsible for the first translation of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital in any language (published in Russian in 1872). Although he corresponded personally with Marx his own economic views were very different. Danielson was the leader of Russian liberal economic thought, but he undertook the translation of Marx to demonstrate that there was a third way of developing the Russian economy. He disagreed both with the official imperial policy of the time and with the Marxist alternative that was becoming very popular in Russia from the 1870s.
Danielson famously stated: "The problem facing us could have been summed up in the following terms: What should we do to bring our industry up to the level of Western industry, in order to prevent Russia from becoming a vassal of more advanced countries, and at the same time raise the living standards of the people as a whole? What we did, instead, was to identify large-scale modern industry with its capitalist form, thus reducing the problem to the following dilemma: To what should we sacrifice our cottage industries - to our own capitalist industry or to English industry? When the issue was presented in this way - and this is how it was presented - our cottage industries were doomed and we began to propagate our own capitalist industry" (pp. 390-91).
One of Danielson’s Marxist opponents, a member of Lenin’s organization Souyz borby za osvobozhdenie raboshego klassa, said of him that: “No authors of that time – not Vorontsov, nor Kryvenko, nor Mikhailovsky – brought us more trouble with his criticism of Marxism as Danielson. The “Mont Blanc” of statistical calculations, great erudition, the ability to articulate economic concepts and, finally, the charm of the first Marx translator - made him the most formidable opponent”.
A rare fine copy of one of the most important books in the history of Russian thought.