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The Communist Manifesto (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – July 17, 1988

567 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393956160 ISBN-10: 0393956164 Edition: New edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"L.M. Findlay's excellent translation of The Communist Manifesto, embedded in a splendid introduction and a most carefully chosen appendix of Marx and Engels pieces, superbly places this nineteenth-century classic in an extraordinary historical context. There is no other edition at the moment that can match its quality in terms of translation, and its substance in terms of historical context." (Renate Holub, Director, Interdisciplinary Studies)

"Findlay engages the reader by depicting how personal and historical events shaped the thinking of Marx and Engels. At the same time, he clarifies why Marx and Engels pursue the manifesto format, explains its historical significance as a political genre, and highlights the importance of Marxist concerns in the post-industrial, post-Cold War era. Combined with the excellent array of appendices, Findlay's translation should enrich readers' understanding of the Manifesto's historical context and help solidify their understanding of the fundamentals of Marxism." (Bryon Moraski)

"Findlay's new edition of The Communist Manifesto is very scholarly, and the additional documents are a real bonus, providing an interesting context for the work. All in all, this is an excellent edition." (Walter Adamson)

"A great teaching text." (James Tully) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

L.M. Findlay's elegant new translation is a work of textual and historical scholarship. Few books have had as much of an impact on modern history as The Communist Manifesto. Since it was first published in 1848, it has become the rallying cry for revolutionary movements around the world. This new Broadview edition draws on the 1888 Samuel Moore translation supervised by Engels―the standard English version in Marxist discourse―and on the original Helen Macfarlane translation into English of 1850. Throughout, Findlay draws on a variety of disciplines and maintains a broad-ranging perspective. Among the appendices are Engels' "Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith," correspondence and journalism of Marx and Engels, ten illustrations, and eight additional influential political manifestos from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Critical Editions
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; New edition edition (July 17, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393956164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393956160
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

359 of 405 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My five star rating is based on the quality of this handsome edition of one of the classics of political philosophy. Classics of this magnitude, whether Adam Smith's THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, Tocqueville's DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, or THE FEDERALIST PAPERS have achieved a status that makes the assigning of a rating rather silly. Regardless of one's feelings about Marxism or Communism, a work of such gigantic influence is of such a status that rating it is almost silly. It is one of the constitutive artifacts of our culture.

The particular edition I am reviewing is the recent reissue on Verso with an introduction by Eric Hobsbawm. There are a host of editions of THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, and virtually any of them will do the trick, but I very much enjoyed this edition, partly for the handsome jacket and binding, and partly for the superb intro by Hobsbawm. It is not a new translation, and indeed it isn't clear that there will ever be much of a demand for a new translation. The MANIFESTO was first published in 1848 and this translation in 1888. Moore's translation is the standard one for a simple reason: Engels examined it closely and helped Moore in editing the final draft of the translation.

Although I had read a fair amount in the writings of Marx over the years, this was my first time to read the work from cover to cover. I found it surprising on several levels. First, it was a much easier to read work than I had anticipated. This is upon reflection hardly surprising. The work was intended as a pamphlet for the masses, and it was essential that it be as understandable as possible. Also, the concepts and ideas articulated in these pages have become a part of the intellectual landscape of Western civilization.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Delaney on June 18, 2008
Calling this edition the "Collectors Edition" is an egregious misnomer. While the binding is good, that's the only thing positive that can be said about this edition. This "publisher" apparently has no editor and no one who understands a thing about professional typesetting. It looks as if it was typed out in MS Word. Paragraphs are indented a full half inch, AND the paragraphs have entire blank lines between them. The first half of the book uses straight quotes and two hyphens for dashes. The second half of the book switches to curly quotes, but puts spaces around full em dashes. Over and over again the apostrophe of possessives have spaces before the 's' (as in "Marx' s").

I was so disgusted with the poor quality typesetting that I returned it. If you're looking for a nice, high quality hardcover of the Manifesto, go for the Barnes & Noble edition. They at least have professional typesetters.

To the "publishers": I highly recommend you get yourselves a copy of Jan Tschichold's _The Form of the Book_ (you can get it here on Amazon). Please learn how to typeset a book properly before printing any more books.
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168 of 202 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on December 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember reading the Communist Manifesto thirty years ago when I was at University. At the time it seemed tedious and impenetrable. Recently I re-read it and was amazed at how clear it seemed and what an effective piece of propaganda it was and how clear was the writing.
Reading through the program one realises the distance that has been travelled since it was written. Some of the major planks are the Abolition of Child Labour, the creation of a progressive income tax and Free Education.
Perhaps one of its major weaknesses is that Marx was a person who tended to carry a grudge. Thus a third of it is devoted to attacks on some of his contemporary enemies and rivals. These disputes have so long passed into history they are incomprehensible.
The modern notion of Communism of course stems not from Marx but from Stalin and Lenin. Marx wrote at a time when the only democratic country in Europe was France. England, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire all had limited franchises and Russia was of course an autocracy. One of the major reforms he battled for was the introduction of democracy. It was his belief that the implementation of his program would flow from that.
Following Marx's death his movement evolved into a parliamentary movement the Social Democratic Party. Communism as a modern political phenomena dates from 1917 when splinter Social Democrats followed Russia's lead and developed small conspiratorial parties who were committed to the seizure of power by force. Stalinism is an offshoot of this system and is a form of state terror aimed at ensuring the survival of unpopular anti democratic regimes.
Reading through the Manifesto one can see the basis of a system which was not only an effective for mobilising political movements, but came to influence intellectual debate for the next century. There is also perhaps a sense of a naive optimism which could not contemplate the sorts of disasters which were to occur over the next hundred years.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Communist Manifesto" is one of the most fascinating and significant works of political philosophy. Regardless of your political views this is an important book and anyone interested in the history of ideas ought to read it. I had read it for the first time back in college and decided to re-read it when I came across the free Kindle edition.

The Manifesto is written in a very powerful and passionate style, and it's really high on rhetoric. Unlike most other Marx' or Engels' works it is not written in order to analyze historical or philosophical ideas as much as to inspire and give communists a very clear and well-defined set of principles for which they ought to stand. Nonetheless, the Manifesto presents the reader with all the major intellectual positions that communists of all stripes have promoted for over a century and a half: history and politics as class struggles, demonization of "bourgeoisie," dismissal of all other socialist movements, call for the abolishment of private property and the traditional family. Manifesto is also very dismissive of any intellectual objections to its ideas, dismissing all of them with a single sentence. It has become fashionable in certain circles to claim that the eventual horrors of communism were due to the "distortion" of Marx' and Engels' thought, but after reading the Manifesto it is hard to imagine that any of the revolutionary changes that they called for to be implemented in any other way than through extreme violence. "Communist Manifesto" is the line in send that had been drawn very early in the history of communism, and it is very easy to see how all the subsequent tragic developments have been acted out according to this playbook.
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