From the Back Cover
Written over fifty years ago, Isaiah Berlin’s brilliant account of the life and thought of Marx has long been recognised as a classic of modern scholarship, and is widely considered to be the best short critical account yet written of the author of 'Das Kapital'. It provides a penetrating, lucid, comprehensive introduction to the traditional Marx – the personality and ideas as they were understood by those who, in his name and guided by his thought, led the revolutions which transformed the world. This new edition contains Terrell Carver’s revised and updated Guide to Further Reading and a new Introduction by Alan Ryan from which the significance of Berlin’s contribution to the literature on Marx emerges clearly.
“Exceptional…as a portrait of the man and the intellectual climate of the mid-nineteenth century it is, perhaps, the finest we have in any European language.”
CHIMEN ABRAMSKY, 'Jewish Chronicle'
“Presents a view of Marx which is both sympathetic and detached. Berlin seizes the point of what Marx wrote and did without sharing Marx’s illusions. His accounts of Marx’s theses are sometimes more effective than Marx’s own words, and his descriptions of Marx as a man are remarkably vivid in a book that is so largely concerned with ideas.”
“The author’s admirable ability to translate many abstruse and obscure notions of Marxism into a clear language and his virtuosity in showing connections between personalities, characters, attitudes on the one hand and doctrinal issues on the other are unparalleled in the existing literature.”
“The best brief account of the life and thought of Marx.”