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The Communist Manifesto: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deluxe Edition, March 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0143106265 ISBN-10: 0143106260 Edition: De Luxe edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Editio
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; De Luxe edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143106260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143106265
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (405 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in Westphalia in 1820, Friedrich Engels was the son of a textile manufacturer. After military training in Berlin and already a convert to communism, Engels went to Manchester in 1842 to represent the family firm. A relationship with a mill-hand, Mary Bums, and friendship with local Owenites and Chartists helped to inspire his famous early work, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Collaboration with Marx began in 1844 and in 1847 he composed the first drafts of the Manifesto. After playing an active part in the German revolutions, Engels returned to work in Manchester until 1870, when he moved to London. He not only helped Marx financially, but reinforced their shared position through his own expositions of the new theory. After Marx’s death, he prepared the unfinished volumes of Capital for publication. He died in London in 1895.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

343 of 388 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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46 of 48 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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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By John Green on December 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Phil Gasper brings a profound clarity to the words of Marx and Engels. Readers of other editions may be surprised by how much more fully they grasp the meaning of "history's most important political document" this time around. I was.

The true breadth of Marx and Engels' intellect is made clear in the many short selections of their subsequent writings included with the Manifesto (especially Engels' very readable "The Principles of Communism"). I greatly appreciated this inclusion by Gasper, along with his thoughtful introduction and afterword.

Don't buy this book for yourself alone, get one for a friend too. In a world where profit-seeking and power-grabs drive everything from oil wars to pharmaceutical research to prison construction, who says Marx is dead, anyway?
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157 of 190 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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