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Marx: Early Political Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) Hardcover – 24 Jun 1994


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Karl Marx was born at Trier in 1818 of a German-Jewish family converted to Christianity. As a student in Bonn and Berlin he was influenced by Hegel's dialectic, but he later reacted against idealist philosophy and began to develop his theory of historical materialism. He related the state of society to its economic foundations and mode of production, and recommended armed revolution on the part of the proletariat. In Paris in 1844 Marx met Friedrich Engels, with whom he formed a life-long partnership. Together, they prepared the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) as a statement of the Communist League's policy.

In 1848 Marx returned to Germany and took an active part in the unsuccessful democratic revolution. The following year he arrived in England as a refugee and lived in London until his death in 1883. Helped financially by Engels, Marx and his family nevertheless lived in great poverty. After years of research (mostly carried out in the British Museum), he published in 1867 the first volume of his great work, Capital. From 1864 to 1872 Marx played a leading role in the International Working Men's Association, and his last years saw the development of the first mass workers' parties founded on avowedly Marxist principles.

Besides the two posthumous volumes of Capital compiled by Engels, Karl Marx's other writings include The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, The Civil War in France, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy and Theories of Surplus-value.


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"As collections of Marx's writings suitable for course adoption become hard to find, this addition to the Cambridge Texts in the Hisotry of Political Thought series is very welcome." Ethics

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This selection of Marx's early political writings presents new translations and a sequence of texts that illuminates the development of his thought. It will be an invaluable guide to the formation of one of the most influential doctrines in the history of political thought.

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These circumstances, this arbitrary will, this choice of vocation, this actual mediation are merely the phenomenal side of a mediation which the actual Idea undertakes with itself and which goes on behind the scenes. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
worth studying 29 Sep 2009
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading books on the ideas of the young Marx for a few years, and I am glad that this collection was made in a manner that will allow those who appreciate the way a thinker derives ideas from considering first religion, then philosophy, then political economy, in order to come up with ideas about the essential nature of any ideology for a particular social system to reconstruct the context in which Marx came up with many basic ideas. Material that was translated into English as manuscripts in 1932 is identified in this book as "From the Paris Notebooks (1844)." Much of the material in this book was not published during Marx's lifetime, but Marx spent years compiling notebooks on matters that he was studying. Among his conclusions about having and using things, I tend to agree with "Private property has made us so stupid and narrow-minded, . . ." (p. 82).
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