In 1969, when I was a visiting assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Kentucky, I signed up for a free-university course offered by a young sociology instructor and a graduate student, and there I began to study Marx for the first time. 1 Of course, like everyone else, I thought I knew what Marx was about, but during my years of undergraduate and graduate education I had never actually read anything by Marx, certainly no more than an inoculatory paragraph or two.