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Karl Marx

Greatness and Illusion

Gareth Stedman Jones



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19 June 2017

As the nineteenth century unfolded, its inhabitants had to come to terms  with an unparalleled range of political, economic, religious and  intellectual challenges. Distances shrank, new towns sprang up, and  ingenious inventions transformed the industrial landscape. It was an era  dominated by new ideas about God, human capacities, industry,  revolution, empires and political systems - and above all, the shape of  the future. 

One of the most distinctive and arresting  contributions to this debate was made by Karl Marx, the son of a Jewish  convert in the Rhineland and a man whose entire life was devoted to  making sense of the hopes and fears of the nineteenth century world.  Gareth Stedman Jones's impressive biography explores how Marx came to  his revolutionary ideas in an age of intellectual ferment, and the  impact they had on his times. 

In a world where so many things were  changing so fast, would the coming age belong to those enthralled by the  events which had brought this world into being, or to those who feared  and loathed it? 

This remarkable book allows the reader to  understand as never before the world of ideas which shaped Marx's world -  and in turn made Marx shape our own.
By:   Gareth Stedman Jones
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 199mm,  Width: 133mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   566g
ISBN:   9780141024806
ISBN 10:   0141024801
Pages:   500
Publication Date:   19 June 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gareth Stedman Jones is currently Professor of the History of Ideas at Queen Mary, University of London. He is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge and taught at the university for many years, becoming Professor of Political Science in 1997. He is the author of Outcast London, Languages of Class and An End to Poverty? as well as being the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of The Communist Manifesto.

Reviews for Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion

Exhaustive and staggeringly well-researched -- Oliver Bullough The Observer Vast, dense and intellectually formidable -- Dominic Sandbrook The Sunday Times Rich and deeply researched -- John Gray Literary Review Superb ... so long as we persist in our tendency to hive off the study of economics from politics, philosophy and journalism, Marx will remain the outstanding example of how to overcome the fragmentation of modern social thought and think about the world as a whole for the sake of its betterment. And this book will be an admirable guide to how he did it. Financial Times An intellectual history of impeccable scholarship... the book is superb... for those interested in Marx's thinking, Stedman Jones's book is a treat The Telegraph There is no better guide to Marx than Gareth Stedman Jones Economist 'A deeply original and illuminating account of Marx's journey through the intellectual history of the nineteenth century. Stedman Jones explores the friendships, affinities, rivalries and hatreds that shaped Marx's life with elegance and analytical brilliance. He anchors his narrative in a startlingly textured account of the society and politics of Marx's era. Most important of all, he brings to life the thoughts of a plethora of other writers, showing how Marx's engagements with the thoughts of others enabled him to navigate a course that often had little or nothing to do with the Marxism of the twentieth century. A profound reappraisal and a gripping read.' -- Christopher Clark (author of The Sleepwalkers)

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