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The Marx-Engels Reader

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  4,978 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
This revised and enlarged edition of the leading anthology provides the essential writings of Marx and Engels--those works necessary for an introduction to Marxist thought and ideology.
Paperback, Second Edition, 788 pages
Published March 17th 1978 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1971)
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Steven Peterson
Nov 25, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
Whether or not one is a Marxist, knowledge of Marx' work is important in understanding the variety of political philosophizing over the millennia. Marx' political thought is sometimes difficult (think the "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844") and sometimes transparent (e.g., "The Manifesto of the Communist Party," more popularly referred to as the "Communist Manifesto").

This edited work is one of the best introductions to the works of Marx (and Engels). The volume begins with the ea
Khashayar Mohammadi
Dec 31, 2016 Khashayar Mohammadi rated it really liked it
This reader is the perfect introduction to Marxism, thoroughly presenting the backdrop and progression of Marxist thought throughout the years, ranging from Marx's thoughts on Hegel and Feuerbach to his lectures, letters and refutations. The last third of the book is rightfully dedicated to Engels' contributions, including his groundbreaking thoughts on the origins of family.

It is as great an achievement in intellectual thought as it is an achievement in editing.

Oct 01, 2012 John rated it it was ok
I know. It is important to read Marx. Especially for a historian, Marx's materialist conception of history is so influential, so pervasive, so inescapable, that there is really no excuse for never reading the man's work. And I have tried. I had to read the Communist Manifesto at some point my freshman year of college, and my eyes glazed over then, and then my current course of study rolled around, and there is Marx, on the syllabus. And I thought, good. Now I am older. More mature. I shall read ...more
Oct 04, 2008 Maria rated it it was ok
Blah blah blah blah Marx blah commodity blah
Ben Jaques-Leslie
Jun 14, 2012 Ben Jaques-Leslie rated it it was amazing
In the summer of 2001, I took a socialist history class. Summer school classes are unrelenting in the amount of reading needing to be done. I have clear memories of coming straight home after class, swimming through the thick humidity of North Carolina, and proceeding to spend the afternoon, evening, and night reading Marx. Class struggle. Dialect materialism. Proletarian revolution.
Oct 16, 2013 Blair rated it really liked it
I've found that Fredrick Engels has been lost under the tidal wave cast by Marx, even though the former helped keep Marx on his feet and was more a collaborator than some second fiddle. This is a bit more clear in this collection, where tone and tints of the ideas behind Marxist theory are different than in works written exclusively by Marx. Some of the pieces are repetitive.
Esteban del Mal
Mar 21, 2010 Esteban del Mal rated it really liked it
Marx changed the way I think. I'm less enamored of him as I grow older (anyone claiming to have the key to history should be locked in a padded cell), but still amazing stuff.
Jun 13, 2012 Tom rated it liked it
This review is not directed at the form of the book, which is more or less ideal for what it is, namely in presenting an in-depth overview of the writings of Marx and Engels, but is directed more so at the ideas contained within (although it should be noted that a more apt title would be "The Marx Reader... oh, and here are some of Engels' writings tacked on at the end"). The one complaint, then, that I do have with the form of the book is that Engels is given so little space, when he is truly t ...more
Ed Baldwin
Dec 30, 2012 Ed Baldwin rated it it was amazing
You can't participate in a political debate in America without first reading Karl Marx. It's that simple, because Marx, a German living in England at the height of the Industrial Revolution saw the consequences of unbridled capitalism on helpless workers first hand. Much has happened in government and economic philosophy since then, but it was Marx that laid the foundation for all political discourse to follow.

Marx believed the workers should own the means of production, and, seeing no way for
Joan Lesmeister
Apr 23, 2013 Joan Lesmeister rated it it was amazing
This is one of two collections of the Red Beard's work I have used, the other being David McLellan's Karl Marx: Selected Writings. Both are excellent: scholarly, organized and graced with intelligent commentary and background. However, if you asked me which to make your not-so-little red book of choice, I would choose this one for a few reasons. For one, it contains a thorough index, which greatly enhances the book's use-value as a reference. For another, it is compact and portable--this is the ...more
Aug 09, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it

Tucker breaks down difficult passages by Marx in clear prose explaining Marx's thinking. Tucker restates plainly but effectively that given the division of labor between capitalist and worker, exploitative behavior by the capitalist is logical and not at all 'unjust' by virtue of applying some outside moral criteria to condemn it. The Marxist system does not concern itself with issues of justice, in particular, that comes later, or co-develops by other thinkers, namely Marx's contemporaries. Tuc
Oct 03, 2013 xDEAD ENDx rated it liked it
The range of writings included in here is great, spanning form early Marx to later Engels and hitting upon social, economic, and revolutionary theory. The depth, however, I found to be lacking. I find it irritating that some of Marx and Engel's most important works are abridged, as if an additional 20 pages here and here would be too much for an 850 page book. Perhaps this is just a general problem I have with anthologies and readers...

It's humorous that in one of Engel's letters included in her
Sep 04, 2009 John rated it really liked it
Modes of Production, alienated labor, surplus value... I loved reading this book. It really demonstrated the intelligence of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. I would go on to say that I don't agree with every single thing in the book... but I feel that has already been overstated about the man and his intelligence. This is an incredible read for anyone with an open mind and a dictionary. Disclaimer: do not just read the Communist Manifesto! It is oversimplified and will mislead you into thinking ...more
Jun 08, 2011 Chrisanne rated it really liked it
I do not sympathize with the communist political ideology, but I was fascinated by the arguments Marx/Engels made for the dialectic development of history. It certainly gave me a lot to think about and I think that it was a fair assessment. This compilation of their works is excellent, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about Marxist thought. Everything you need to read is in this book.
Nov 30, 2008 Kira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: left-marxian
It's packed and the editor gives a bit of historical context for each of the selections, many of which constitute the complete text of the work from which they're taken. It includes a big chunk of Capital, vol. 1, for example. You also get the German Ideology and the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts for 1844, so that you can see how M's analysis of political economy grows more nuanced as he learned more history and economics.

Feb 13, 2013 Ardith rated it really liked it
Really nice comprehensive text for someone wanting to understand Marx. Will teach you that you do not like Engels (at least it did me).

I appreciated it laid out the context of the pieces, and included background work in some places for ideas that would spring up later. Much easier to follow Marx's line of thinking than just relying on the Manifesto.
Mar 14, 2011 Sam added it
I think Robert C. Tucker passed recently. Not in any way the best anthology but it's one that's on the most syllabi across the country's universities. Nevertheless, the feeling of reading Marx for the first time is indescribable. Can't help but to yell, "YES!" at the page incessantly. Too bad "Marx" is a four-letter word in this country.
Petter Nordal
Nov 08, 2011 Petter Nordal rated it it was amazing
If you are seriously interested in history or economics, but you don't have time to take university classes or read all of Capital, this is a fabulous work. Having read large sections of Capital in my twenties, i feel that Tucker's editing and notes make Marx's study and insight comprehensible without diluting or fluffing it up.
Joann Bozek
Aug 15, 2012 Joann Bozek rated it it was amazing
Read, read, read and read again. I suggest picking this book up and giving it another look every four years as each Presidential campaign comes and goes. Especially when it comes to the topic of the economy??? Huuummmm ??? Is there really a true democracy?
Oct 09, 2012 David rated it really liked it
A classic compilation of Marx's writing. Tucker can get a bit wordy at times, something that doesn't help the already mystic and often vague english that has been created from translating Marx from german. However, his commentary is sometimes very helpful.
Ruhat alp
Oct 24, 2011 Ruhat alp rated it really liked it
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

marx were wrong.Unfortunately,in today's opium are nationalism,football and popular culture.
Nov 13, 2014 sologdin rated it it was ok
Shelves: leftwing-theory
as with the kamenka collection, a distillation of the MEGA for use by undergraduates in resolving revolutionary facial hair care product problems.
Sep 07, 2010 Ashley rated it it was ok
Important. Boring. Watch this instead. (Animation makes everything better.)
Laura Jean
Nov 10, 2009 Laura Jean rated it really liked it
I have never made it through every word of this book. But I have immersed myself in it three time thus far. I'm sure I'll dive in again sometime in the future.
Rachael Kosinski
Oct 28, 2016 Rachael Kosinski rated it it was ok
Really, really not an advocate of communism in theory or practice, but was an interesting read. I did appreciate Engels's thought processes about industrialization forcing people into beyond horrible slum conditions and trying to bring about change so that didn't happen anymore.
Grant Dever
Jan 22, 2017 Grant Dever rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective, well-edited, etc.
Sanjana Rajagopal
Nov 29, 2016 Sanjana Rajagopal rated it really liked it
Shelves: philo-theo
We have read almost everything in this book reaching the end of the semester. We'll be finishing Kapital over the next two classes and then I can truly say I completed this reader!
C. Scott
Aug 15, 2016 C. Scott rated it it was ok
This is among the most challenging things I've ever read. I realize that Marx was mostly writing for a pretty select group of 19th century intellectuals - especially with Kapital, but this just straight up beat me. I have no familiarity with Hegelian philosophy. My mind was constantly drifting, unable to concentrate on what Marx was trying to get across. That is mostly my fault, but I'm not exactly sure what the editors who curated this were trying to do. Provide a broad overview of Marxian phil ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Jeffrey rated it liked it
Shelves: chicago
While I do not agree with most of the ideology presented in the book, this is a great collection of important works written by one of the most influential men of the last couple of centuries. We know at this point that Communism does not work on a national scale, but that does not mean that all of the ideas surrounding it are useless. Personally I think his best and most applicable points are about the problems of producing above what you are actually being paid to do, and this merely places mor ...more
Adam Hewitt
Feb 10, 2013 Adam Hewitt rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in economic, social, or political philosophy
First let me say I am solidly in the Locke/Hume/Smith crowd, very much a product of the enlightenment and don't have a lot of use for Kant/Hegel/Marx. This review is not about the content of the book, but rather the Marx-Engles reader edited by Robert Tucker.

As a home-schooling family I used it with my daughter in high school to help provide an introduction to Marx and his core socio-economic ideas that played the foundation for textbook communism. The book is well laid out well with a nice tim
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Engine of History 1 21 Dec 08, 2008 08:58PM  
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  • J. S. Mill: 'On Liberty' and Other Writings
  • Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-77
  • Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century
  • Marx's Capital
  • The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
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 absentia, Marx stud ...more
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