Karl Marx

Karl Marx

3.92 (504 ratings by Goodreads)
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Isaiah Berlin's intellectual biography of Karl Marx has long been recognized as one of the best concise accounts of the life and thought of the man who had, in Berlin's words, a more "direct, deliberate, and powerful" influence on mankind than any other nineteenth-century thinker. A brilliantly lucid work of synthesis and exposition, the book introduces Marx's ideas and sets them in their context, explains why they were revolutionary in political and intellectual terms, and paints a memorable portrait of Marx's dramatic life and outsized personality. Berlin takes readers through Marx's years of adolescent rebellion and post-university communist agitation, the personal high point of the 1848 revolutions, and his later years of exile, political frustration, and intellectual effort. Critical yet sympathetic, Berlin's account illuminates a life without reproducing a legend. New features of this thoroughly revised edition include references for Berlin's quotations and allusions, Terrell Carver's assessment of the distinctiveness of Berlin's book, and a revised guide to further reading.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 28mm | 320g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 5th Revised edition
  • 3 line illus.
  • 0691156506
  • 9780691156507
  • 357,080

Review quote

"A model of objective clarity."--Richard Charques, Times Literary Supplement "[Berlin's] book, a perennial classic, has all the virtues of Berlin himself: charm, erudition, and (occasionally) grandiloquence."--Peter E. Gordon, New Republic "The best brief account of the life and thought of Marx."--Saturday Review "Exceptional ... [A]s a portrait of the man and the intellectual climate of the mid-nineteenth century it is, perhaps, the finest we have."--Chimen Abramsky, Jewish Chronicle "[Berlin's] accounts of Marx's theses are sometimes more effective than Marx's own words, and his descriptions of Marx as a man are remarkably vivid."--H. B. Acton, Political Studies "Berlin's attitude to his subject is exemplary, and on the whole it is the best introduction to it that we have... [The book] makes Marx intelligible, both as a person and as a thinker."--A. L. Rowse, Political Quarterlyshow more

About Isaiah Berlin

Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) was one of the leading intellectual historians of the twentieth century and the founding president of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. His many books include The Hedgehog and the Fox, The Crooked Timber of Humanity, The Roots of Romanticism, and Against the Current (all Princeton). Henry Hardy, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, is one of Isaiah Berlin's literary trustees. He has edited several other volumes by Berlin, and is currently preparing Berlin's letters and remaining unpublished writings for publication.show more

Back cover copy

"Isaiah Berlin's Karl Marx remains fresh and engaging and continues to stand as a compelling portrait of Marx's character, historical context, and fierce intellectual and political struggles. In Berlin's unique manner, the book fuses deft descriptions of ideas, colorful personalities, and social and political movements viewed within the broad sweep of history. His prose is precise and eloquent, often pithy, and never obscure. And the commentaries by Alan Ryan and Terrell Carver are excellent accompaniments to the volume."--Steven Lukes, New York University "The author's admirable ability to translate many abstruse and obscure notions of Marxism into a clear language and his virtuosity in showing connections between personalities, characters, and attitudes on the one hand and doctrinal issues on the other are unparalleled in the existing literature."--Leszek Ko?akowski, author of Main Currents of Marxismshow more

Table of contents

Editor's Preface to the Fifth Edition xi Foreword by Alan Ryan xix Preface to the Fourth Edition xxix Note to the Third Edition xxxiii Note to the First Edition xxxv 1 Introduction 1 2 Childhood and Adolescence 22 3 The Philosophy of 'The Spirit' 33 4 The Young Hegelians 57 5 Paris 76 6 Historical Materialism 112 7 1848 149 8 Exile in London: The First Phase 168 9 The International 205 10 'The Red Terror Doctor' 220 11 Last Years 248 Afterword by Terrell Carver 267 Guide to Further Reading by Terrell Carver 291 Index 297show more

Rating details

504 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 35% (177)
4 33% (165)
3 24% (122)
2 6% (28)
1 2% (12)
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