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An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln Paperback – May 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844677222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844677221
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Blackburn teaches at the New School in New York and the University of Essex in the UK. He is the author of many books, including The Making of New World Slavery, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, Age Shock, Banking on Death, and The American Crucible.

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States and the author of several seminal speeches and writings, including the Gettysburg Address. He died in 1865.

Karl Marx was born in 1818, in the Rhenish city of Trier, the son of a successful lawyer. He studied law and philosophy at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, completing his doctorate in 1841. In Paris three years later, Marx was introduced to the study of political economy by a former fellow student, Frederick Engels. In 1848 they collaborated in writing The Communist Manifesto. Expelled from Prussia in the same year, Marx took up residence first in Paris and then in London where, in 1867 he published his magnum opus Capital. A co-founder of the International Workingmen’s Association in 1864, Marx died in London in 1883.

Frederick Engels was born in 1820, in the German city of Barmen. Brought up as a devout Calvinist he moved to England in 1842 to work in his father’s Manchester textile firm. After joining the fight against the counter revolution in Germany in 1848 he returned to Manchester and the family business, finally settling there in 1850. In subsequent years he provided financial support for Marx and edited the second and third volumes of Capital. He died whilst working on the fourth volume in 1895.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By JMB1014 on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This unusual book of readings is ballyhooed as presenting correspondence between Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx,concerning, we presume, slavery and involuntary labor. It is disappointing that there is really no such correspondence. Instead, we read a letter from the International Workingmen's Association, doubtless by Marx, and a response from Charles Francis Adams, head of the U.S. legation in England, on behalf of Lincoln, which contains sentiments ascribed to Lincoln that are generally sympathetic to the views espoused in Marx's letter, though they are very general indeed. There is another letter from the IWA to President Andrew Johnson, expressing loss over the death of Lincoln and encouraging Johnson not to "compromise with stern duties" and to help "initiate the new age of the emancipation of labor." That's it. In fact, these materials, like others in the book, have been available in other volumes of Marx's and Lincoln's writings for years.

The rest of this volume consists of useful and interesting materials, including four writings of Lincoln (all widely available: his two inaugurals, the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation), writings by Marx on the Civil War and its ramifications, correspondence by Marx and Engels and Marx and Annenkov, some writings from the feminist journal "Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly" on rights of women and children and including an interview by R. Landor with a brusque Marx, the conclusion of "Black and White" by Thomas Fortune, the preface to the American edition of "The Condition of the Working Class in England," by Engels, some speeches from the founding meeting of the IWW, and a good, 100-plus page introduction by Robin Blackburn which is inevitably rather compressed and not as well edited as it might have been.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leven on February 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a good book,but I was thinking it might have an analysis of the influence of Charles Dana on Lincoln. It did not,which was a disappointment. Charles Dana's influence in history is downplayed due to his socialist Republican politics. Dana was responsible for getting Karl Marx a job with the NY Tribune,and,with his office near Lincoln's office (as Undersecretary of War), it was Dana, who communicated to Lincoln, Marx's ideas on a labour theory of value. This ommission I found regretable. However,the book has value toward making the case that true "government of,by,for the people",must bring about a victory for the working class in America. Which was clearly Lincoln's vision, evolving as it was,in the context of the war to liberate blacks from landed slavery and the northern whites from wage-slavery. But,as I said,the book fell short, missing important historical points of view. I still find the book worthwhile to read. I liked it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Landis Potter on February 1, 2013
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A lot of information that some people don't want to talk about. History that is pushed to under the table.
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