Distributed for Reaktion Books
He was relatively unknown in his lifetime, but Karl Marx’s theories about society, economics, and politics changed the world, led to the Russian Revolution and the formation of the Soviet Union and the creation of the People’s Republic of China, and inspired variants from Leninism and Stalinism to Trotskyism and Maoism. Marx is one of the most influential thinkers of the modern age, but in recent times “Marxism” has become a vague, contestable, and uncertain term. In this concise, accessible book, Paul Thomas casts a clarifying light on Marx’s life and writings, providing a cogent introduction to a contemporary audience.
1. Trier, Bonn, Berlin, Cologne, 1818–43
2. Paris, 1843–5
3. Brussels, 1845–9
4. London, 1849–83
“Paul Thomas quotes Marx, in the years before he died, saying he was glad to be appreciated, yet ‘I am not a Marxist.’ Thomas helps us unravel this paradox. For most of a century, ‘Karl Marx’ became an advertisement for a country that would have killed him if it could have. Thomas introduces us to a ‘post-Cold War’ Marx, who can breathe, and we can breathe along with him. Thomas conveys Marx’s immense horizon, originality, and imaginative power. Marx may be the world’s first global writer, and Thomas helps us share this world with him.”