“As a force for change, its influence has been surpassed only by the Bible. As a piece of writing, it is a masterpiece.”—Guardian
“[T]he best possible explanation of what the world was about that I had ever read. It pointed out that the real conflicts in the world were not between black and white, men and women, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Americans, Russians and Chinese; it was about the conflict of economic interest between 95 per cent of the population of the world, who create the world’s wealth, and the 5 per cent who own it. I think of Marx as a prophet: the last of the Old Testament prophets. And we should think of him as a teacher ... Karl Marx discovered it all long before I did, and I am very grateful to him.”—Tony Benn, The New Statesman
About the Author
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.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.
A Fellow of the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Eric Hobsbawm
is the author of more than twenty books of history, including The Age of Revolution
and The Age of Extremes
. He lives in London.