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The Communist Manifesto

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  61,642 Ratings  ·  2,386 Reviews
A rousing call to arms whose influence is still felt today, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' The Communist Manifesto is edited with an introduction by Gareth Stedman-Jones in Penguin Classics.

Marx and Engels's revolutionary summons to the working classes, The Communist Manifesto is one of the most important political theories ever formulated. After four years of collaborati
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 27th 2002 by Penguin Classics (first published February 1848)
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Haritharan Suppaiah I feel very sad when young readers like you only look into a book like this superficially. That's what happens when you have to read a book rather…moreI feel very sad when young readers like you only look into a book like this superficially. That's what happens when you have to read a book rather than wanting to read it. Reading a material of this nature you need some amount of maturity. Maturity comes from what you read and there is also some element of culture and our basic fundamentals. Before reading it once and giving your views on a serious work of intellect like this, I would recommend reading who Karl Marx was and please do include Engles, and also the political history of Europe at the the time it was written. I may not agree totally with its implementation in today's world but knowing the history of the person who wrote it and the history around the time it was written will help you seen the meaning of the author.
You can never fill a cup which is already full. Keep all your preoccupied thoughts elsewhere before starting a masterpiece like this. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeremy
Jun 23, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who wonder why Communism fails
Long overdue update (2013): I read this book five years ago and in almost every respect, I have mellowed considerably.

You can read my review below. It's unchanged. You can read the comments below that. Also unchanged.

I never seriously expected anyone to read this review, much less love or hate it so strongly. I am not apologizing for my view of the book or Marx. He put his entire life into this slender and influential book, and I respect that. I understand a bit more about where he was coming fr
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Jason
Jun 13, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anarchists!!
Read this and understand why your imperialist capitalist government spent the better part of a century playing hot potato with ICBMs, invading and incinerating peaceful, peasant countries, and making your mom and dad piss themselves under school desks.

The elite were scared shitless and by no means would they allow their slaves, errr labor force, a fraction of freedom or equality or means to resist. The 60 year propaganda campaign against Communism and the virtual disappearance of strong labor u
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Bookworm Sean
Communism doesn’t work. Its ideals are perfectly understandable, justifiable even, but the way it seeks to attain them, that’s just terrible. In reality communist policy falls apart or isn’t fully followed.

The driving force is to achieve a classless rather than class based society. Sounds good on paper doesn’t it? But in order to achieve such a thing, the manifesto proposes a revolution that will wipe out private property. This is more that following the march of history. Mankind has seen count
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Traveller
Sep 21, 2012 Traveller rated it it was ok
Shelves: sociology, re-reading
This tract by Marx and Engels is too enormous in implication to review fully in the small little space that GR allows, so what I'll do for now is take extracts from it and comment on them, piece by piece.

Per the Maifesto:"
"Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeois
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Xio
May 07, 2007 Xio rated it liked it
Shelves: manifesto
Its awful fun to grow up marxist in the US. You get to go to meetings where you, as a kid, soon realize there's no point in paying attention so off you go with the other rowdy tots into the ghetto to make trouble with whatever you find to hand.

And you get to read this novella and if you're bored and underchallenged but over bothered you can begin to argue against american capitalist imperialism and the growth of consumerist doctrine using your new found propaganda skills til you bait a teacher i
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Ken
Feb 09, 2008 Ken rated it it was ok
EH. You know. Marx. Reading Marx is like fucking a microwaved squash -- everyone's got to do it eventually, but you probably shouldn't get so into it that you start joining a club. Because the next thing you know you'll be standing on the back of a personnel transport humorlessly waving a huge flag and screaming through a bullhorn at a bunch of people who made the fatal mistake of not agreeing with you, while your comrades herd them through barbed-wire-lined corrals with rifle butts and... wait, ...more
J.G. Keely
It is an error to assume that the problem with humanity is an inability to recognize our own problems. While it's true that we constantly look outside for answers, this is just because we are unhappy with the answers we have. We know that success requires hard work and knowledge, but we want something easier. We will accept an easier answer even when it isn't true. We are not motivated by what is true or likely, but by frightening or enticing stories.

We are driven away from the necessary and the
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Joseph
2011 thoughts

A very important book at the time it was written. Some would conclude that it was the threat of the Communist that reformed the system to allow for leisure time for the working class. Organized labor reformed American business and transformed Europe. Americans still greatly oppose communism/socialism in all it forms (except for social security, medicare, public roads and parks, pork projects that benefit their neighborhoods, OSHA, veteran affairs......).


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Riku Sayuj

The history of all hitherto existing society* is the history of class struggles.

* That is, all written history.



+++

We read the same written history and read it as progress, as stories, etc. The real history, on the other hand, is something else. Played out differently. Yeah, that is the catch.

This was a reading of only the bare text (along with the many prefaces!). It was very powerful and I am now reading the Penguin edition with the really long introduction next. Will write more about this imp
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Barry Pierce
What can I say? Marx was right. Almost.
Rachel
One word review: disgusting.

There is so much I could say, and there isn't the space to say it in a review... Where do I even begin?

For starters, the book began on a whining note. There were basically two main thrusts: first that free trade was so unfair to the poor proletariat; second, that the communistic movement had only the interests of the proletariat at heart. It was unhindered by nationality or any other interests and existed solely to make the working class successful.

What started out
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Jonfaith
May 21, 2014 Jonfaith rated it liked it
It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

What can or should
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Steve Evans
Apr 01, 2012 Steve Evans rated it it was amazing
No one should feel the need to agree with this short polemic to realise that it is one of the most important books ever written. It should be required reading in schools really, but anyone who hasn't read it should nip out and get a copy straight away, and put her or his nose in it. Most though not all of Marxism is summed up in it, and unless one is really dedicated, very little else is needed for an understanding of "Marxism". I was one of those people and have read a lot of Marx and Engels an ...more
Fei Fei
The terms Marxism and Communism are so misused nowadays that it is difficult to hold an intellectual conversation with people about this deeply fascinating political and economic theorist. It is partly the fault of the school curriculum, I fear. For whenever schools teach Marx, they inevitably always start with this book, the Communist Manifesto. But this is precisely the worst place to begin understanding Marxist philosophy. The Communist Manifesto is an anomaly in Marx's work. Strictly speakin ...more
Riku Sayuj

An introduction to a historical work (or any work for that matter) should not be a thorough deconstruction, undertaken from an ideologically opposite standpoint. The reader should be given an introduction and in fact (as much as possible) a defense of the work. This introduction sets out to do the opposite.

I don't have a problem with Marx being critiqued but it should have been done in an independent book. This is like making a reader buy something for the value he attributes to the main work a
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Rebecca Foster
I read this on the train to Manchester, appropriate reading when approaching one of the UK’s biggest centers of Victorian industry and the place where Marx and Engels met to discuss ideas in the mid-1840s. Marx was the chief author of this 50-page pamphlet, first published in London in 1848. It had never occurred to me that it was first issued in German, Marx’s native language. Like Darwin’s Origin of Species, another seminal Victorian text, this has so many familiar lines and wonderful metaphor ...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou
Αν πω ότι δεν κατάλαβα Χριστό (no pun intended) θα ακουστώ σαν ανίδεος
κι αμόρφωτος.

Αν πω ότι ήταν μια απολαυστική ανάγνωση όπου κατάλαβα τα πάντα θα ακουστώ σαν ένας δήθεν ψευτοδιανοούμενος.

Έτσι θα αρκεστώ στο ότι χρειάζομαι μια δεύτερη ανάγνωση στο εγγύς μέλλον.

Δεν μπορώ να πω ότι συμφώνησα με ό,τι έλεγε το μανιφέστο· μιλώντας πάντα για όσα έβγαλα κάποιο νόημα.

Δεν μπορώ να πω ότι ο κομμουνισμός είναι κάτι που μπορεί να γίνει στην πράξη.

Γενικά δεν ξέρω πώς να βαθμολογήσω αυτό το μικροσκοπικό
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Rupert Dreyfus
Mar 28, 2016 Rupert Dreyfus rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Whether you disagree with Marx or not, this is an important book. It was part of a wider debate back when the idea of revolutionary strategy was taken seriously by the intellectuals of the day. I personally favour the principles of anarcho-syndicalism as being the path towards a freer, more democratic and peaceful world. I also think manifestos such as this lead to dogma rather than allowing revolutionary activity to be experimental and spontaneous.

That said Marx is an important figure in the de
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Saman
Apr 17, 2015 Saman rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This of course, like many other ideologies, looks good on paper.
Ibrahim Saad
" إن تاريخ أي مجتمع حتى الآن ليس إلا تاريخ صراعات طبقية
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وقد رأينا أنّ كل مجتمع حتى الآن قام على التناحر بين الطبقات العسفية والطبقات المضطهَدَة. وللتمكن من اضطهاد طبقة ينبغي أن تؤمّن لها شروط معبشية تمكنها، على الأقل، من مواصلة وجودها العبودي. فالقنّ، في عهد القنانة توصّل إلى أن يغدو عضوا في كمونة، وكذلك ارتفع البرجوازي الصغير إلى برجوازي تحت نير الحكم الإقطاعي الإستبدادي. بخلاف ذلك، فإنّ العامل العصري، بدلا من أن يرتفع مع تقدّم الصناعة، لا ينفك ينحط عميقا دون أوضاع طبقته نفسها. فالعامل يغدو
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Ben Loory
Jan 12, 2014 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing
wow, this was just amazing. i expected it to be long and dry and boring but instead it's like a pamphlet, it's a stirring infomercial, and the writing is incredible, like walt whitman or tennyson's "ulysses"-level rhetoric. i mean when you get to the list of the changes they actually want to make, you go OH JEEZ NO I DON'T THINK THAT'S GONNA WORK!!! but you can't help but see how this would've moved people to action (and probably still continues to do so to this day). it's electrifying and mesme ...more
Ana
I'm not entirely sure how you're supposed to rate the book that inspired so many dickheads to nurse grandiose ideas of taking over the world, but I'll play it safe and give it a neutral three stars. I didn't read this for pleasure, but for knowledge, as I wanted to see what are the root ideas to what we now,sneeringly, call "communism". I am not surprised I found it at times, very logical, and at other times very much on point - after all, some of the communist ideas are natural developments, bu ...more
Jason
May 11, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it
Reread this recently and basically yup.
Nick
Rough, muscular verses from Mr. Marx over here. There are a bunch of good one liners in this well written work. Most of the ideas in it rub me the wrong way, but it explains the theory's political side pretty well. Even this would be a poor introduction to Marxism though. I remember trying to read this without any background knowledge and it came off as bald assertions. The lack of much economics in here sort of limits its explanatory power.

The most interesting part of this is part III wherein h
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Liz BooksandStuff
Jun 27, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it it was ok
I grew raised with these ideals. Well as a Cuban, we belong to the government, and this is what they drill into our brains, from birth to grave. All I wish to say is that some things are nice on paper, brilliant even, but can never be put to practice because they will always fail.
Ken Moten
Well when thinking of a read over the Christmas holidays I usually go for A Christmas Carol. Forsaking that this year I decided to instead read this manifesto of the 19th century political-economic system known as Communism. Now Communism is older than Marx or "Marxism" but this pamphlet is what most people know as the genesis of Communism (despite Marx himself alluding to Communism pre-existing him) and I found a lot of interesting things in it. I don't have to tell you how practical it is in o ...more
Ryan
Dec 31, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Very important work, one that obviously influenced history dramatically and helped to define the dynamics of the twentieth century and beyond. In fact, some of Marx's ideals resonate throughout not only "communist" and "socialist" countries (including former ones, such as the most famous "Marxist" experiment, the Soviet Union), but throughout all collectivist political socioeconomic systems. These range from Hitler's Nazi Germany (national socialism) to the twentieth century "welfare state" that ...more
Jack
Oct 06, 2014 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Politically-minded readers
Shelves: marxism
Regarding one of the most misunderstood political systems of our time (arguably along-side that of capitalism), the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is also in itself as misunderstood as communism, and is one of the most undervalued and shunned pieces of literature in history.

Communism, as Marx and Engels put it beautifully in the Manifesto, is anything but Stalinist. It is also devoid of prophetic nonsense. Instead, Marx and Engels treat the reader to their scienti
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Abubakar
May 01, 2016 Abubakar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bourgeoisie is BAD. You hear me ? BAD.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Somehow it just seemed right and fitting that I should read The Communist Manifesto over Fourth of July weekend.

"WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!"

2.5 stars

Marx has some valid points, and some of his ideas are actually in use in the U.S.(gasp!). A prose stylist he was not. This is very convoluted and overwrought. The introduction of this version is very good and helped my understanding, hence the extra half star.
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  • The State and Revolution
  • The Condition of the Working Class in England
  • Selections from the Prison Notebooks
  • Reform or Revolution
  • Their Morals and Ours
  • The Social Contract
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • A Companion to Marx's Capital
  • The Meaning of Marxism
  • Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics
  • Black Liberation and Socialism
  • Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis
  • Marx for Beginners
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(Arabic: كارل ماركس)
In 1818, Karl Marx, descended from a long line of rabbis, was born in Prussian Rhineland. Marx's' father converted to Protestantism shortly before Karl's birth. Educated at the Universities of Bonn, Jena, and Berlin, Marx founded the Socialist newspaper Vorwarts in 1844 in Paris. After being expelled from France at the urging of the Prussian government, which "banished" Marx in
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“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, that each time ended, either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”
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“A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of Communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter; Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French radicals and German police spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact.

I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be in itself a power.

II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Specter of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.”
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