1st Edition


ISBN 9780415435925
Published March 11, 2009 by Routledge
272 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Karl Marx has been portrayed in equal measure both as a political prophet who foresaw the end of capitalist exploitation, and as a populist Anti- Christ whose totalitarian legacy has cost millions of lives worldwide. This new biography looks beyond these caricatures in order to understand more about the real Karl Marx; about his everyday life and personal circumstances as well as his political ideology.

The book tells the life story of a man of ideas, showing how his political and economic thought developed alongside his life and practical work. Vincent Barnett seeks to paint Karl Marx not as a static, unwavering character, but as a man whose beliefs developed dynamically over time. The book explores his personal background, and problems of personal income and family health. It also examines the influence of Hegel's methods on Marx's work, and his relationship with Engels.

This lively, up to date guide to the life of Karl Marx provides an excellent starting point for students in history, politics and philosophy, and for all those with an interest in Marxism and political ideas.

Table of Contents

Preface  Chronology  Introduction  1 Ruled by a Demon  2 Early Writings  3 The Spectre of Communism  4 Political Writings, 1848-52  5 The Whole Economic Muck  6 Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy  7 An Immense Accumulation of Research  8 Volume One of Capital  9 The Tantalizing Model of Paris  10 The Circulation of Capital  11 And Now Russia!  12 Very Late Marx  Conclusion  Further Reading

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Vincent Barnett has been a research fellow on a wide variety of History, Russian Studies and Economics projects at various UK universities. His publications include A History of Russian Economic Thought (2005), The Revolutionary Russian Economy, 1890-1940 (2004) and Kondratiev and the Dynamics of Economic Development (1998).


‘[a] concise and reliable introduction to Marx’s thought…Barnett organizes his book into pairs of chapters: the first of each pair deals with Marx’s life and practical work; the second with his political thought. This structure is useful in conveying to readers how Marx’s ideas were constantly evolving.’The Financial Times

'For those wanting an introduction to Karl Marx and his economics writings the book provides an excellent, clear and accessible introduction.' Gidon Cohen, Durham University, UK

'It successfully shows how Marx could be so influential in his time and more so after his death...it does justice to the immense contribution by a foremost theoretician of social sciences' - Critique