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Karl Marx

Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography

Rolf Hosfeld
Translated by Bernard Heise
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 198
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  • Book Info
    Karl Marx
    Book Description:

    Is the Grand Old Man re-emerging? More than twenty years after the collapse of Communism, and in the midst of the crisis of Capitalism, Karl Marx's ideas, at least in part, are back in vogue. He is often invoked, yet often misunderstood. In this award-winning biography Rolf Hosfeld offers a new, transparent, and critical view of Marx's turbulent life. Linking the contradictory politician and revolutionary to his work-his errors and misjudgments as well as his pioneering ideas-Hosfeld presents a vivid account of Marx's life between Trier and London. At the same time, he renders accessible Marx's complex work, one of the world's most important contributions to the history of ideas.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-430-4
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Ideas
    (pp. 1-56)

    “The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism by weapons,” Karl Marx wrote from Parisian exile in 1844.¹ Apart from any broader meaning, this was also a summary of his personal experience. This sentence by the then 26-year-old can thus be regarded as primarily an autobiographical statement.

    Conditions of censorship had prompted Marx to resign as the editor in chief of the liberalRheinische Zeitungon 18 March 1843.² The year had started undergloomy prospects,³and now the weapon of criticism was also knocked out of his hands. Quite a few people were frustrated with Prussian censorship, which...

  5. Deeds
    (pp. 57-130)

    The railway’s conquest of the earth was one of the earliest dreams motivating Count Henri de Saint-Simon. At the end of the 1840s, only its modest beginnings were visible outside of England and America. Yet ever since the Congress of Vienna, the increasing speed of travel had begun to open up the landscape with a vengeance. Express postal routes along new highways soon reduced the travel time from Berlin to Munich by way of Cologne from 130 to 78 hours. In 1825, horse-drawn omnibuses were introduced to inner-city traffic in Berlin. By 1847, Prussia boasted 3,200 kilometers of railway lines....

  6. Discoveries
    (pp. 131-156)

    In 1879, at the request of the Hohenzollern Princess Victoria, the liberal Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff met Marx at the Devonshire Club at No. 50, St. James Street. Founded in 1874, the establishment was a favorite meeting spot for energetic, mostly younger Whigs. Grant Duff, as fully bearded as Marx, was supposed to provide the princess with an authentic portrayal of the former “Graand Chef” of the International, for the liberal daughter of the British king—married to Friedrich, the future heir apparent to the German throne—had political notions that were decidedly her own, running in some respects...

  7. Consequences
    (pp. 157-180)

    Thus, with a certain degree of inevitability, Marx’s political effect was subject to the law of unintended consequences. The history of the International had already shown that Marx’s greatest success came when he acted as a theoretician of union struggle, and that it surpassed its zenith the moment he wanted to proclaim his old chiliastic message of salvation after the Paris Commune. The history of German social democracy would stage anew this struggle between heaven and earth. Even during the 1848 revolution, Stefan Born’s Workers’ Brotherhood—at the time the most important workers’ organization on the continent—was already marked...

  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 181-186)
  9. Index of Names
    (pp. 187-191)