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The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition Hardcover – May 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Reprint edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859848982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859848982
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"A spectre is haunting Europe," Karl Marx and Frederic Engels wrote in 1848, "the spectre of Communism." This new edition of The Communist Manifesto, commemorating the 150th anniversary of its publication, includes an introduction by renowned historian Eric Hobsbawm which reminds us of the document's continued relevance. Marx and Engels's critique of capitalism and its deleterious effect on all aspects of life, from the increasing rift between the classes to the destruction of the nuclear family, has proven remarkably prescient. Their spectre, manifested in the Manifesto's vivid prose, continues to haunt the capitalist world, lingering as a ghostly apparition even after the collapse of those governments which claimed to be enacting its principles.

From Library Journal

May 1 to honor the 150th anniversary of the original publication of Marx and Engels's masterpiece with this quality, affordable hardcover. This edition contains a new introduction by historian Eric Hobsbawn, who insists that the work should be read not only as a great work of literature but that, 150 years later, it still has much to teach us for the next millennium.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

As any intelligent person will infer, this book is no manifesto, it is an attack on the ideas of others.
Nathaniel Paty
There are many editions of The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels in print around the world, but this is one of the best.
J. Link
In other versions, I had to go to the back of the book and read notes and other information in small print.
H. Agredano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By H. Agredano on December 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Overall, this version is practical and 'user friendly.'

Here is a little personal story:

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I have read three other versions of the Communist Manifesto. All of these had their own special characteristic that distinguished them from each other. For example, one version has a good introduction and a good afterward , another version has good notes at the end of the Manifesto and another version is pocket size. However, this version has proven to be much better.

When I began reading this version, the large size of the pages bothered me a bit. However, it makes sense that the pages are larger because the Author places important information and notes that help to explain the Manifesto. As I continued reading, I became convinced that this version was much more practical than other versions even if it was not pocket size. The reason being, that whenever I did not understand a reference all I had to do was look at the edge of the page. In other versions, I had to go to the back of the book and read notes and other information in small print. This obviously became really annoying and it made me stop reading the notes because a lot of the information was overwhelming and sometimes unnecessary.

Furthermore, this version is better than the others because it explains the original text in plain English. In addition, this version has a funny and inspirational introduction, a good afterward by Howard Zinn and a section with a few questions that people usually ask to try and discredit socialism/communism. However, the Author answers those questions that sometimes puzzle or have puzzled us at one point in time.

I think that this is such a good version, that I would even recommend it to a skeptic.
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348 of 393 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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159 of 193 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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