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The Eighteenth Brumair...
 
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Karl Marx
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The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,253 ratings  ·  45 reviews
On December 2 1851, followers of President Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon's nephew) broke up the Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. A year later, Louis Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III.

Marx wrote The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon between December 1851 and March 1852. The "Eighteenth Brumaire" refers to November 9, 1799 in the French Re...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published 1943 by George Allen & Unwin Ltd (first published 1852)
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Jules
Aug 25, 2007 Jules rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: communists and socialists
This piece is a demonstration of a social scientist's theoretical evolution over time. For my first couple years in college, I was unsure of my theoretical standing. On my good days, I believe in the good of humanity and anarchy in its true sense; on bad days, I know people are terrible and am a communist even though democracy is still probably the most plausible (if it actually worked).

Then I began reading Marx fully, not just the required segments. I realized that this piece is the mile-marker...more
David Nichols
It's probably not a good idea to attempt this long essay unless one is A) comfortable with the author's heavy, Germanic prose style, and B) familiar with the history of the short-lived, unlamented Second French Republic. Assuming both of these conditions pertain, though, the Eighteenth Brumaire is well worth the time invested in it; it contains some of Marx's bitchiest invective and concludes with a startling observation about the first French Revolution. (Namely, that its winners were not the b...more
Anthony D Buckley
Just the best piece of political analysis ever written.
Gregory Sadler
I'd like to specify before launching into my review of this excellent work of analysis that I'm neither a Marxist nor even someone on the Left (though I once was). I do still grant and appreciate the role of economic conditions and relations in conditioning what occurs in politics, culture, law, and religion, but I don't see the economic sphere as determining, or even as predominating, the other dimensions of human existence.

That's actually one of the lessons that comes through in this brilliant...more
Yann
Très éclairant sur une période de l'histoire de France que je ne connaissais que fort mal. Karl Marx raconte avec beaucoup de détails les différentes étapes de la prise du pouvoir par Napoléon III, et la chute de la seconde république née de la révolution de 1848. Sans vouloir rien retirer aux mérites de l'auteur, j'ai un peu regretté que les actions des protagonistes ne soient éclairées que du point de vue de l’intérêt. L'indignation, pierre sur laquelle s'aiguise la vertu, et parfois très part...more
Trevor
I really struggled with this - but I had downloaded it from manybooks.com and it didn't really have an introduction or notes - I think Marx is making many very clever asides and observations throughout which, due to my complete lack of knowledge of post-Nepoleon French politics, barely made a whizzing sound as they flew straight over my head. I'll have to track down a penguin edition of this or something that explains all his jokes.
Vittorio Ducoli
Attualità di Marx

L'altro giorno, 14 marzo, ricorreva il 130° anniversario della morte di Karl Marx.
Per puro caso, nello stesso giorno ho finito di leggere Il 18 brumaio di Luigi Bonaparte, che ritengo uno dei testi fondamentali per addentrarsi nelle idee di questo grandissimo pensatore e per apprezzarne appieno l'attualità, a dispetto della vulgata interessata che vorrebbe il pensiero marxiano solo un retaggio del passato.
Un primo elemento a favore di questo testo è il tema. Non si tratta di un...more
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
Cronaca serrata e analisi illuminante del processo di dissoluzione che colpì la Seconda Repubblica francese (nata nel 1848) e ne provocò la morte sotto il colpo di Stato del dicembre 1851 di Luigi Bonaparte (l’impero sarà proclamato solo nel 1852).
Marx descrive le forze in campo – “partito dell’ordine” (monarchici legittimisti e orleanisti: repubblicani controvoglia), borghesi repubblicani “puri”, Montagna democratica, proletariato… –, i loro conflitti, le fughe in avanti, i voltafaccia, le alle...more
Joshua
This is a political analysis of the stages of the French revolution of 1848. The revolution was initiated in February 1848 by the industrial capitalists who were in rebellion against the financial capitalists. The workers rose up in revolt as the political dam burst open. The proletariat of Paris was the most radical element of the revolution but their uprising was crushed during June 1848. After the workers were crushed the revolution went through various stages where more and more right wing e...more
Tombom P
Idiosyncratic and often tough to follow but ultimately valuable as an example of Marx's historical method. Sometimes loses focus or doesn't really make itself clear - there were quite a few sentences that seemed to be missing a clause, a few times he describes a class acting against its class interest as if it's normal, some other stuff I should have noted down. The last couple sections are the best, I think, although I might just have been in a better mood reading them. He often assumes knowled...more
Pierre E. Loignon
Il n’y a aucun doute, si la doctrine matérialiste de Marx ne peut être appliquée partout sans susciter quelques doutes, sa puissance heuristique s’impose lorsqu’il est question d’expliquer les variations dans la qualité de son écriture. En effet, alors que ses analyses faites en France font état d’un esprit dialectique très fin et à l’ironie fertile, celles qu’il produira dans la misère à Londres montrent toujours une intelligence exceptionnelle, mais leur style est désormais d’une lourdeur asso...more
Arfhanius Juanda
"Manusia membuat sejarahnya sendiri, tetapi mereka tidak membuatnya tepat seperti yang mereka sukai; mereka tidak membuatnya dalam situasi-situasi yang dipilih mereka sendiri, melainkan dalam situasi-situasi yang langsung dihadapi, ditentukan dan ditransmisikan dari masa lalu. Tradisi dari semua generasi-yang mati membeban bagaikan sebuah impian impian-buruk atas benak yang hidup. Dan tepat manakala mereka tampak terlibat dalam merevolusionerkan diri mereka sendiri dan segala sesuatu, dalam menc...more
Ben
An excellent work by Marx as journalist/historian; a nice companion piece to "The Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850" and a bit more entertaining, though it lags in the middle and suffers from dryness at times. It contains interesting political musings and some very valuable and still relevant insights on class and politics (particularly in Part VII). I would give it a 4.5 stars if I could (this option is not available), but opted for 5 stars instead of 4 due to some very valuable ideas and so...more
Cns
From Rossana Rossanda's (founder of Il Manifesto) memoir--"I don't know how I came to the conclusion that it was the Communists who were most sure of what they were doing--or who told me, 'But Bafi is a Communist.' I was so ignorant that I marched straight up to him, between classes...'Someone said you are a Communist.' 'What are you looking for?' I told him about the leaflets I'd seen, about being confused, not knowing. 'Read these books. Come back when you have done so.' I ran to the railway s...more
Alex
The 18th Brumaire is off the hook; in the key of multiplicity where previous work was in the key of singularity or duality; in the key of tragedy whereas the rest of the work is comedy; in the key of rage instead of science; in the key of history rather than structure. Yes, the relations of production, yes class interests still run the game, but doesn't it seem like the political sphere is its own beast in this story? Don't you get the sense that the struggle between capital/proletariat only hap...more
Ahmad
Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx
عنوان: هجدهم برومر لوئی بناپارت؛ اثر: کارل مارکس؛ ترجمه: محمد پورهرمزان؛ مشخصات نشر: بیجا، بینام،۱۳۵۳، مشخصات ظاهری: ۱۱۰ ص، عکس، نمونه، چاپ دوم، فرانسه -- تاریخ-- کودتا، ‏‫ ۱۸۵۱م.‏‬ انقلاب فوریه، ‏‫۱۸۴۸م.‏‬ جمهوری دوم، ‏‫۱۸۴۸ -‏ ۱۸۵۲م.‏‬
Simon
A masterpiece of historical writing, yet does suffer somewhat from being written in an old-world German professorial style. Engels complained about this, and he was right. Nonetheless, the author articulates some very important lessons from history, including warnings about the danger of demogogues.
Sheldon L
Overall, a very dry read. It's mostly newspaper articles that Marx had written to cover the second French revolution. His detailed analysis of the tactics of Louis Bonaparte are very interesting in that Marx illuminates how centralized power has created a monster in political process that is highly tedious and difficult to manoeuvre.

Overall, though it is a tedious read peppered every now and then with interesting insight into how complex political systems always hold pregnant within it the possi...more
Teresa
It turns out that reading about Post-revolutionary France (or continuously revolutionary, depending on your perspective) is pretty boring. It doesn't help that this translation is dry as heck and contains numerous typos. As a sociologist I'm supposed to at least be able to appreciate Marx, which I do-- but I find his writings difficult and obtuse. Although I did laugh when he proclaimed the tagline of one revolutionary moment: "Long live the sausages!"
Britt
Feb 22, 2007 Britt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like french history and/or political economy
It's amazing to read Marx's interpretation of a huge political event in 19th century Europe--he's funny, polemical and incisive--the 18th Brumaire is like a play-by-play critical retelling of the struggles between 1848 and 1851, with all the crazy characters and competing interests. This book would be good for people who've wondered how there was still a Bonaparte around eighty years after the French Revolution.
M. Bartos
A study of shifting class alliances during the 1848-1851 revolution in France. Marx is a really great writer and I love his style. It's a shame that barely anybody reads him anymore. There's a lot of references in this book that I didn't understand though, and a lot of the subject matter is really esoteric.
Diego Castañeda
La visión de los sucesos y transiciones en la Francia de mediados del Siglo XIX de Karl Marx, donde describe la lucha entre distintos grupos políticos Democráticos, Conservadores etc y de las principales figuras de la época Luis Bonaparte, Montagne entre otros y como consolidaron a la Burguesía en Francia.
Faïrouz Reverentia
something I liked in this one, is when Marx said that the two writters (of his era) who deserves the title writter are "Victor Hugo" and "Pierre-Joseph Proudhon"
even if he criticized too much Proudhon for his "Philosophy of Misery"
this opinion of Marx is very important for me
Peter
Read for a wonderful class in college filled with very smart people. Consisted of reading this, the Autobiography of Charles Darwin, and The Future of an Illusion (Freud), along with other works by those authors and commentaries on those three specific works.
Jeremy Hauck
God this book sucked. "It" -- what is "it"? Subject, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah, verb. Fuck this. OK. Great. The land owning aristocracy and the industrial aristocracy had their differences and voila, dictator on the throne.
Dietcokedick
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."
Nazila Khalkhali
one can not read this book without knowing its context and background. from historical viewpoint, it's a document. it is translated to Persian by Bagher Parham
Tim
Damn you public domain translation! But even with that, it's good... I just started it, years after Prof Jeffrey Mehlman ceaselessly reommended it to me.
Mark Harris
I've read this over and over, in English and German. A seminal book on the nature of the State, Counter-revolution and Reaction. Snarky Marx at his finest.
Phil
Brilliant discussion of revolutions and why they only succeed partially.
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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
More about Karl Marx...
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Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” 221 likes
“Man makes his own history, but he does not make it out of the whole cloth; he does not make it out of conditions chosen by himself, but out of such as he finds close at hand.” 2 likes
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