Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-4985-5163-2 • Hardback • June 2019 • $144.00 • (£111.00)
978-1-4985-5164-9 • eBook • June 2019 • $136.50 • (£105.00)
Rob Bryer is professor emeritus of accounting at Warwick Business School, Warwick University.
Chapter 1 The Missing Link
Chapter 2 Marx’s Theory of History
Chapter 3 An Accounting Critique of Marxist Interpretations
Chapter 4 Ancient Slavery
Chapter 5 Slavery in the Late Roman Empire
Chapter 6 Transition to Feudalism in Western Europe
Chapter 7 Capitalist Ideology and Accounting
Chapter 8 The Socialist Mode of Production
Chapter 9 The Tasks of Critical Accounting
I greatly enjoyed this book which covers the development of Marx’s theory over his lifetime; how the theory has been interpreted by subsequent authors and can be reconciled to historical knowledge unavailable to Marx during his life, or to events following his death; testing the viability of his theory against the extant accounting evidence; historical analysis ranging from the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians to the 1984-85 miners’ strike in Britain; and arguing in favor of a more coherent and proactive challenge to social injustice by critical accounting scholars mobilizing Marx’s theory of value. A fantastic read that will stimulate much debate.
— David Oldroyd, Newcastle University
Rob Bryer’s writings on the history of accounting are always compelling and thought provoking. In his latest book he presents a convincing accounting interpretation of Marx’s theory of history that draws on illustrations from ancient civilizations to the pre-capitalist world. His findings will intrigue students of Marx’s philosophy, diverse communities of historians, and critical accountants.
— Steve Walker, University of Edinburgh Business School
Accounting for Value is a fascinating, optimistic book, of significant contemporary importance. Its argument that Marx is the “original critical accountant” and theorist of world accounting history, is genuinely ground-breaking. The importance of accounting to Marx’s oeuvre, set out in the book, enables a more complex appreciation of Marx’s theories, as well as demonstrating their empirical validity. Its explanation that accounting-technologies control the production of surplus-value, makes accounting, the ‘invisible-hand’ in Marx’s theory of capitalism. Accounting could be, the “missing-link” in many people’s understanding of Marx’s theory of history and its end in socialism. A dynamic, detailed, must-read book.
— Christine Cooper, University of Edinburgh Business School
"With capitalism once again at a crossroads, its defenders rely, more than ever, on methods for obfuscating the real underlying economic relationships. In Accounting for History, Rob Bryer exposes how accounting obscures these relationships, and the true nature of value. Building on Accounting for Value, he traces the evolution of accounting as historical materialism. From the ancient slave societies of Babylonia and Rome, though feudal estates, the ideology of capitalism, to the inevitability of socialism, Bryer reinterprets the history of accounting, adds insights to the Marxian view of history, and rehabilitates Marx’s core ideas."
— Steven Toms, University of Leeds