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The Communist Manifesto (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 17 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed. / edition (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019953571X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535712
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 0.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An excellent and scholarly edition with a very useful introduction and notes - very accessible and informative for students with little to no background knowledge. / Rebecca Braun, Lancaster University

Book Description

The second best-selling book ever published which heralded a seismic change in the world's political and social landscapes. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
THE history of all hitherto existing society* is the history of class struggles. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 89 people found the following review helpful By E Parry on 12 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
Very smart of Bookmarks Publications to print a compact pamphlet-edition of the Communist Manifesto, allowing everyone to get hold of a handy copy for a very small fee. While the foreword is written by one of the Socialist Worker staff, hence it's somewhat (ok that's an understatement) biased, at least it dispenses with the usual hundereds of pages of commentary that frequently occupy publications of this 30-page document. Previously myself and others felt it was necessary to plough through these lengthy (and often misleading) introductions before reading the thing itself, and as a result people often give up before making it that far. It turns out you don't really need to do that as the thing largely speaks for itself; the style is usually quite clear and accessible and the parts that don't seem to make sense are usually the parts that refer to persons or parties of the time (i.e that are out of date).
As for the thing itself, I think I'll avoid saying anything too inflammatory in this review. I think that whether you agree with Marx or not, everyone should read this document (no excuse now it only costs a quid). A lot of people make vast sweeping statements about how Marx was completely wrong when they (and I don't mean everyone) in fact haven't even read the Communist Manifesto. If you can't even be bothered to read 30 pages of relatively easy reading then how can you talk about such things? In any case, Marx is in fact very misunderstood, which is only inevitable given how disagreeable his ideas (the ones he *did* have not the ones people wrongly associate with him) are to some people. You need to read this to understand what Marx was actually for, and what he in fact wasn't.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
Whilst the book is not written for the enjoyment of the reader it is written with purpose. This purpose was to formulate and summarise the ideas and ideals of the so called communist movement at the time. However, I believe if one reads the book they will have to concede that Marxs ideas of communism do not mirror those which were brought about by the revolutions of the Twentieth century. To blame Marx for these failed implications of an idealsitic system is to blame Nietzche for the attrocities of the Nazis. Both write with a positive intent and a posiitve message for mankind and neither deserve criticism for this. However, due to their unswerving belief in themselves and their often harsh / revolutionary ideas they were bound to attract it.
This book is as pertinent today as it was when it was written. The huge changes in the political scene, the growth of capitalistic society, the failed attempts at the implication of so called communism and the oversights the authors freely admitted do not retract from the message running through the text.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Henry Ireton VINE VOICE on 21 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
If you have not read this, read it now.
I do not agree with Marx but this book is indispensible to understanding the history of the 20th Century, you cannot reach into the mindset of many of the leading actors without tackling this book. There is a reason so many intelligent men and women saw within this book such a lot of truth and tried (in my view falsely) to apply it to their societies- this is a book which deserves to be read by any individual who thinks that they think. If you have read it and dismissed it or not read it you are not yet someone who has grappled with what the world is or might be. The thesis was when it was published provocative- it borrowed from Hegel, Rousseau and even for one of its most significant phrases Edmund Burke and retains features of Hegelian historical progression and Rousseauian account of the formation of civilised man- put together though it is a work of genius and deserves to be read now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hallinskioi on 1 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting to say the least, it really does give a different interpretation of today's society. If you are a balanced person, you can't discredit it, because it's just another interpretation and another system for the way we run our lives.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Oct 2001
Format: Paperback
This, being one of Marx's earliest works, outlines all his major views in a clear and concise way. Ideal for anyone who is interested in the basics of Marxism and finds the prospect of reading all three Volumes of Das Kapital daunting (as nearly everyone would).
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By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Marx and Engels take the position that globalisation is bad and that the spread of trade and free exchange of ideas is bad as it means people aren't satisfied with the old way of doing things after they are exposed to new ways. They don't like technology, adopting the luddite position that it makes everything worse. They believe technology makes workers redundant and take less joy in their work. Before I go any further, does anyone agree with this nonsense? It's like they want to freeze time indefinitely, they're so anti-progress! So far, so dumb.

Their anti-machine spiel continues as they fume that the bourgeois are in control of the machines and therefore the direction the world is taking. They want the working class to control this instead. So it's just one group of society jealous of what another group of society have. Nothing revolutionary here.

I had to include this quote from the manifesto as I found it ironic - "He (the working man) becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him." Ironic as they claim this is the state of the working man under bourgeois rule but this is ultimately what would happen to countless millions under communist rule in the 20th century.

The manifesto contains largely sweeping statements that aren't backed up with examples or facts, and bizarre statements about the communist utopia that go along the lines of "if everyone were communist then there would be no competition and nobody would be better and so there would be no war". There's a lot of this "anti-competition" sentiment in the manifesto as apparently we should all be equal and competition means some would be better than others.
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