Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

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Macmillan, Aug 3, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
28 Reviews

"Written with brio, warmth, and historical understanding, this is the best biography of one of the most attractive inhabitants of Victorian England, Marx's friend, partner, and political heir."—Eric Hobsbawm

Friedrich Engels is one of the most intriguing and contradictory figures of the nineteenth century. Born to a prosperous mercantile family, he spent his life enjoying the comfortable existence of a Victorian gentleman; yet he was at the same time the co-author of The Communist Manifesto, a ruthless political tactician, and the man who sacrificed his best years so that Karl Marx could have the freedom to write. Although his contributions are frequently overlooked, Engels's grasp of global capital provided an indispensable foundation for communist doctrine, and his account of the Industrial Revolution, The Condition of the Working Class in England, remains one of the most haunting and brutal indictments of capitalism's human cost.

Drawing on a wealth of letters and archives, acclaimed historian Tristram Hunt plumbs Engels's intellectual legacy and shows us how one of the great bon viveurs of Victorian Britain reconciled his exuberant personal life with his radical political philosophy. This epic story of devoted friendship, class compromise, ideological struggle, and family betrayal at last brings Engels out from the shadow of his famous friend and collaborator.


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Review: Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

User Review  - Goodreads

I'm not enough of an expert to comment on the previous reviewer's dismay about Hunt's deficiencies in depicting 19th century Germany, but suffice it to say that whatever they are, they don't affect ... Read full review

Review: Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

User Review  - William West - Goodreads

This is a fairly well done biography of Engels. I probably would have appreciated it more had I not recently read Jonathan Sperber's vastly superior "Karl Marx: A 19th Century Life" which, predictably ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

One of Britain's leading young historians, Tristram Hunt is a lecturer in history at the University of London. The author of Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City, he writes political and cultural commentary for The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, and the London Review of Books, among other publications.

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