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The Marx-Engels Reader

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,292 Ratings  ·  134 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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David M
Mar 07, 2017 is currently reading it
Recently had a conversation with this older woman in Berkeley. I told her Marx was making a comeback among people my age and younger. She was frankly incredulous, that just couldn't be right, she thought. Marx? the youngs these days are reading Marx?

Yes, lady, believe it. We're reading Marx. Why wouldn't we be?
Steven Peterson
Nov 25, 2009 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
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Khashayar Mohammadi
Dec 30, 2016 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.

John
Sep 18, 2012 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
Ben Jaques-Leslie
Jun 14, 2012 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.
Maria
Oct 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Blah blah blah blah Marx blah commodity blah
xDEAD ENDx
Dec 07, 2012 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
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Jonathan Huffman
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An indispensable guide to the absolute bois. This was published back in the 70s when many texts written by Marx and Engels were yet to be published or read in the US. It combines what Tucker thinks are the most important texts of the authors, in mostly chronological order/the order of Marx discovering what he was on about. It includes the full texts of several of his manuscripts and the Communist Manifesto, as well as portions of others, and collects portions of the vols. of Capital. It also, of ...more
Blair
Oct 16, 2013 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.
Ruhat alp
Oct 24, 2011 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

marx were wrong.Unfortunately,in today's opium are nationalism,football and popular culture.
Ashley
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Important. Boring. Watch this instead. (Animation makes everything better.)
Esteban del Mal
Mar 21, 2010 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.
Tom
Jul 12, 2011 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 06, 2012 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
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Joan Lesmeister
Jan 04, 2012 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
Julie
Aug 09, 2009 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
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John
Sep 04, 2009 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
Chrisanne
Jun 08, 2011 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.
Kira
Oct 14, 2008 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.

Ardith
Feb 13, 2013 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.
Sam
Mar 14, 2011 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 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.
Patrice
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am so glad to be done with this book. It was a monster to read not just because the language and ideas were convoluted and difficult but because they're just plain wrong! In addition, I am horrified, every day, to see how influential his insane thinking is in our country.

He is full of anger, envy, vengeance and recommends violence. An evil man.
Joann Bozek
Aug 15, 2012 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?
Rachael Kosinski
Oct 28, 2016 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.
David
Oct 09, 2012 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.
Todd
Jul 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: political-theory
Good to know what the opposition thinks. Can't agree with the idea of individual agency being cast aside. Also the idea that all of history is class struggle is too simplistic for me. People are occasionally motivated by things other than money.
sologdin
Jun 11, 2011 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.
Laura Jean
Nov 10, 2009 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.
Jessica
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Marx's critique of capitalism and the alienation of the modern individual is still valid, but ultimately his system fails because it remains rooted in Romantic categories; and materialism, for all its efforts to the contrary, becomes another word for inverted Hegelianism. Marx and Engels may be trying to "put Hegel on his feet," but their system is still structurally Hegelian, whichever angle is facing up.

According to Marx, all past ideologies were unable to bring about a state of true prosperi
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Engine of History 1 21 Dec 08, 2008 08:58PM  
  • From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
  • The Division of Labor in Society
  • A Companion to Marx's Capital
  • Essential Works of Lenin: "What Is to Be Done?" and Other Writings
  • History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics
  • The Freud Reader
  • Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics
  • Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber
  • Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays
  • The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935
  • J. S. Mill: 'On Liberty' and Other Writings
  • Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977
  • 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
7084
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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“It will be seen how subjectivism and objectivism, spiritualism and materialism, activity and suffering, only lose their antithetical character, and thus their existence, as such antitheses in the social condition; it will be seen how the resolution of the theoretical antitheses is only possible in a practical way, by virtue of the practical energy of men. Their resolution is therefore by no means merely a problem of knowledge, but a real problem of life, which philosophy could not solve precisely because it conceived this problem as merely a theoretical one.” 1 likes
“Man's nature, he postulated, was to be a "free conscious producer," but so far he had not been able to express himself freely in productive activity. He had been driven to produce by need and greed, by a passion for accumulation which in the modern bourgeois age becomes accumulation of capital. His productive activity had always, therefore, been involuntary; it had been "labour.” 0 likes
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