Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life

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W. W. Norton & Company, Mar 11, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 672 pages
2 Reviews

“Absorbing, meticulously researched. . . . [Sperber] succeeds in the primary task of all biography, re-creating a man who leaps off the page.” —Jonathan Freedland, New York Times Book Review

In this magisterial biography of Karl Marx, “likely to be definitive for many years to come” (John Gray, New York Review of Books), historian Jonathan Sperber creates a meticulously researched and multilayered portrait of both the man and the revolutionary times in which he lived. Based on unprecedented access to the recently opened archives of Marx’s and Engels’s complete writings, Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life provides a historical context for the personal story of one of the most influential and controversial political philosophers in Western history. By removing Marx from the ideological conflicts of the twentieth century that colored his legacy and placing him within “the society and intellectual currents of the nineteenth century” (Ian Kershaw), Sperber is able to present a full portrait of Marx as neither a soothsaying prophet of the modern world nor the author of its darkest atrocities. This major biography fundamentally reshapes our understanding of a towering historical figure.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AmourFou - LibraryThing

Important note for Kindle readers: the links to the book's notes do not work iso if the notes are important to you, do not choose the Kindle edition. As a non-academic layperson, this book was a bit ... Read full review

KARL MARX: A Nineteenth-Century Life

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A thorough but starchy portrait of the father of modern communism.Sperber (History/Univ. of Missouri; Europe 1850-1914, 2008, etc.) aims to put Karl Marx (1818-1883) squarely within the context of his ... Read full review


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About the author (2013)

Jonathan Sperber, the author of The European Revolutions, 1848–1851, is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri. He has written extensively on the social and political history of nineteenth-century Europe.

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