Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

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Henry Holt and Company, Aug 3, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
4 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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User Review  - otterley - LibraryThing

An interesting biography of a man of huge social and historical significance. As the title suggests, Hunt makes full play of the contradictions inherent in the Manchester mill owner as father of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - brigitte64 - LibraryThing

A great book, easy to read if you are interested in history. It helps understand how different the "existing communism" is from the one Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx describe in their books and ... Read full review

Contents

Front Matter
1
Body
11
Back Matter
369
Back Matter
401
Back Matter
411
Index
413
Back Matter
431
Back Cover
436
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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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