December 19, 2017
5.51 X 1.47 X 8.5 inches | 1.84 pounds
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About the Author
Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 - 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, and the three-volume Das Kapital. His political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history, and his name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory. Marx's critical theories about society, economics and politics - collectively understood as Marxism - hold that human societies develop through class struggle. In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socio-economic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system known as socialism. For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and eventually the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by a free association of producers. Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.
Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 - 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, communist, social scientist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England and in Barmen, Prussia (what is now in Wuppertal, Germany). Engels developed what is now known as Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in English cities. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially, allowing him to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes of Das Kapital. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which he later published as the fourth volume of Capital. In 1884, he published The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State on the basis of Marx's ethnographic research. Engels died in London on 5 August 1895, at the age of 74 of laryngeal cancer and following cremation his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne. Engels was born on 28 November 1820 in Barmen, Rhine Province, Prussia (now Wuppertal, Germany) as eldest son of Friedrich Engels Sr. (1796-1860) and of Elisabeth Elise Franziska Mauritia von Haar (1797-1873). The wealthy Engels family owned large cotton-textile mills in Barmen and Salford, both expanding industrial metropoles. Friedrich's parents were devout Pietist Protestantsand they raised their children accordingly. At the age of 13, Engels attended grammar school (Gymnasium) in the adjacent city of Elberfeld but had to leave at 17, due to pressure of his father, who wanted him to become a businessman and start to work as a mercantile apprentice in his firm. After a year in Barmen, the young Engels was in 1838 sent by his father to undertake an apprenticeship at a commercial house in Bremen. His parents expected that he would follow his father into a career in the family business. Their son's revolutionary activities disappointed them. It would be some years before he joined the family firm. Whilst at Bremen, Engels began reading the philosophy of Hegel, whose teachings dominated German philosophy at that time. In September 1838 he published his first work, a poem entitled The Bedouin, in the Bremisches Conversationsblatt No. 40. He also engaged in other literary work and began writing newspaper articles critiquing the societal ills of industrialisation. He wrote under the pseudonym Friedrich Oswald to avoid connecting his family with his provocative writings. In 1841 Engels performed his military service in the Prussian Army as a member of the Household Artillery (German: Garde-Artillerie-Brigade). Assigned to Berlin, he attended university lectures at the University of Berlin and began to associate with groups of Young Hegelians. He anonymously published articles in the Rheinische Zeitung, exposing the poor employment- and living-conditions endured by factory workers. The editor of the Rheinische Zeitung was Karl Marx, but Engels would not meet Marx until late November 1842. Engels acknowledged the influence of German philosophy on his intellectual development throughout his career. He also wrote, To get the most out of life you must be active, you must live and you must have the courage to taste the thrill of being young ... (1840)