ISBN is

978-1-85702-637-5 / 1857026373

Karl Marx

by Wheen, Francis

Publisher:Fourth Estate Classic House

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

Karl Marx, whose influence on modern times has been compared to that of Jesus Christ, spent most of his lifetime in obscurity. Penniless, exiled in London, estranged from relations and on the run from most of the police forces of Europe, his ambitions as a revolutionary were frequently thwarted and his major writings on politics and economics remained unpublished (in some cases until after the Second World War). He has not lacked biographers, but even the most distinguished have been more interested in the evolution of his ideas than any other aspect of his life. Francis Wheen's fresh, lively and moving biography of Marx considers the whole man--brain, beard and the rest of his body. Unencumbered by ideological point-scoring, this is a very readable, humorous and sympathetic account. A Guardian columnist, Wheen has an ear for juicy gossip and an eye for original detail. Marx comes over as a hell-raising bohemian, an intellectual bully and a perceptive critic of capitalist chaos, but also a family man of Victorian conformity (personally vetting his daughters' suitors), Victorian ailments (carbuncles above all) and Victorian weaknesses (notably alcohol, tobacco and, on occasion, his housekeeper). But there is great pathos, too, as Marx witnessed the deaths of four of his six children. For those readers who feel Marxism has given Marx a bad name, this is a rewarding and enlightening book. --Miles Taylor

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