Document: Johan Van Der Hoeven, Karl Marx: The Roots of His Thought (Toronto, ON.: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1976).

Excerpt: The content of this book is the subject matter of a course of lectures I gave in 1971 as guest lecturer at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Apart from a number of absolutely necessary corrections, the lectures are here published as they were originally given. Publishing a book in this lecture form brings with it, however, several evident drawbacks. First of all there are the inevitable repetitions. Next, the emphasis of exercising and schooling students in the Marxian dialectical thought and its background must override that of strict, systematic-analytical exposition. Perhaps there are readers, however, who see in this special advantages of its own.

Furthermore, after the introductory part, the discussion of Marx follows, for the greater part, a textual-analytical method. I am persuaded, for more than one reason, of the value of such a procedure before a student audience, especially when treating the classic texts of great philosophers. But whether this procedure is appropriate in book form, when reaching a broader circle of readers, I dare not say. In any case, this publication has no pretensions of being a “study” of Marx in the sense professional philosophers attach to that word. I can only hope that the book, despite the above-mentioned and other shortcomings, may contribute to a better understanding of and an appropriate confrontation with this great Western “testator”. Finally, I should like to express my thanks to all those who have taken the special trouble of typing out these lectures from taped recordings and giving them a first provisional form; the latter included, not in the last place, correcting my spoken English. I want to mention especially H. der Nederlanden, J.H. Heida, P.B. Hubers, R. Reitsma and J.P. Roberts. I am also indebted to my assistants at the Free University, Drs. John Kraay and Drs. Anthony Tol, who together translated the Epilogue and made many valuable suggestions as well as corrections
in the manuscript.

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