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Karl Marx: His Life and Environment
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Karl Marx: His Life and Environment

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  543 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
First published over fifty years ago, Isaiah Berlin's compelling portrait of the father of socialism has long been considered a classic of modern scholarship and the best short account written of Marx's life and thought. It provides a penetrating, lucid, and comprehensive introduction to Marx as theorist of the socialist revolution, illuminating his personality and ideas, ...more
Paperback, 4th, 228 pages
Published September 12th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1939)
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Erik Graff
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: James Ivan Gottreich
Shelves: biography
This is the first book-length biography of Karl Marx I read. Actually, it is more a book about Marxism than about the individual. Few very personal details are included, but what is discussed is important. The occasion of my reading of it is burned in memory. Except to me, it is not important.

By junior year I was quite the high school radical. A member of Students for a Democratic Society and The Young People's Socialist League, a good student, a volunteer on weekends at the Chicago A.C.L.U., I
Nov 16, 2015 added it
هر دوران جدیدی با رهایی طبقه ای آغاز می شود که پیش از آن سرکوب می شده است.

پرولتاریا از هر چیزی محروم شده است جز انسانیت محض، همین بی چیزی و تهی دستی باعث شده است نماینده همه انسان ها باشد.

در جنگ ملت ها یا خاندان ها هر کس که پیروز شود کارگران دو طرف همیشه بازنده اند.
Aug 02, 2016 added it
Shelves: biography
Isaiah Berlin, the sort of broad-ranging thinker that makes me want to give up the intellectual effort entirely, takes on Karl Marx, a bright but impoverished family man living in London.

What I loved about Berlin's analysis was that while personal details were critical to the narrative, Marx's relationship with the ideas that came both before and after him is far more important. We learn no only about Marx, but about Hegel and Engels, Lafargue and Duhring, Saint-Simon and Feuerbach. And what I l
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was my introduction not only to Karl Marx and his thought, but to the author Isaiah Berlin. While I have fondness neither for the thought nor for the writings of Marx, I have become a fan of both the works and thoughts of Isaiah Berlin over the decades since this first encounter. Even in this early work (first published in 1939) Berlin's incisive and elegant style highlighted by meticulous scholarship is present. He brings to his study of Marx a much needed freedom from bias. While it ...more
Zebardast Zebardast
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
برای رنج و درد روانی یک درمان وجود دارد و آن هم درد و رنج جسمانی است

کارل مارکس
Ali Amiri
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read this not for the sake of Marx but to get a glimpse of what a brilliant mind Isaiah Berlin has, then you'll be pleased. Nonetheless, it's a very good biography of Marx and description of the development of his philosophy.
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a train wreck from the beginning for me, and I'm not afraid to admit that it was only so because it was basically out of my league. This is a book about a 19th century intellectual, written by a 20th century intellectual, and when read by a 21st century average joe, like myself, it doesn't always translate so well. I struggled with the prose from page one. Half page, run-on sentences packed with references to 18th and 19th century philosophers and their tenets made for an extremely hard ...more
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
In addition to being about a titanic man in Marx, this is the first work of another titan, Isaiah Berlin. It is more of an intellectual biography than a close look at the chronological details of Marx's life. Marx comes across as a horrendous man, totally obsessed with his cause to the detriment of all else. He was driven by a single minded desire to see what he thought was inevitable come to pass, namely, the overthrow of capitalism. He believed this to be inevitable due to the inexorable laws ...more
Desde hace tiempo tenía pendiente leer alguna obra de Isaiah Berlin. Tras haber tenido la oportunidad de haber disfrutado de algunos de sus artículos, era consciente de que la fama de Berlin como uno de los mejores ensayistas del siglo XX era más que merecida, pero desde luego sus textos cortos no son comparables con sus obras más elaboradas (al menos con esta).

Karl Marx, su vida y su entorno, fue publicada por primera vez en 1939. Como consecuencia de todos los cambios que se han producido en l
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The curriculum I taught this year at my high school involved using Marxism as a critical lens through which to evaluate various works of literature. Unfortunately, I didn't know nearly as much about Marx as I needed to, and have begun to address this lack with Isaiah Berlin's wonderfully succinct biography. I agree with everything said about it by my Goodread's friend, James Henderson, and, like him, am now very interested in pursuing Berlin's other works.

As to Marx, I find it an amazing contrad
Ivars Neiders
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There may be better introductions now on Marx in the terms of scholarship, but the style of Isaiah Berlin's prose compensates this. To read Berlin is always a pleasure.
Jackson Cyril
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Though he was himself vehemently opposed to communism his entire life, Sir Isaiah gives as clear an exposition of Marxist philosophy as is possible in 200 pages in the lucid prose for which he is renowned. I will note only two arguments from the book which I had not hitherto encountered in my (admittedly not very extensive) Marxist reading and which struck me as worth noting down; Berlin traces the origins of Marx's materialism, not to Feuerbach, but to his beloved father who was himself very m ...more
Miles Trujillo
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd read the Manifesto earlier that summer, but, as to the influences and extent of Marx's thought, I was blind. This book was, for me, an introduction to much of the philosophy of the 19th century. It is thorough in explicating the Philosophy that founded Marx's thought, and it also highlights how Marx deviated from other thinkers of his day. Overall, it does an excellent job of delineating the development and maturity of Marx's thought. Anyone who wants an introduction to political and histori ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I really enjoyed this. While Isaiah Berlin was 30 at the time he wrote this, it's so competently put together that it leaves you with a sense of wonder for the author's achievement. As many mentioned, this isn't a strict biography, but rather a portrayal of the development of Marx's thought with some minimal context of his life provided. Berlin shows the evolution of Karl Marx's philosophy as well as his fusion of different ideas, all put together to form the awe inspiring tools of Marxian socia ...more
Taha rabbani
خوب، نوشتههای آیزایا برلین شفاف و روشنه و برای آدمهای آماتوری مثل من یک کلیاتی رو به قابلفهمترین شکل بیان میکنه. با این حال به نظرم میرسه مترجم در قسمتهای فلسفی و عمیقتر کتاب نتونسته به اندازهی کافی شفافیت متن رو حفظ کنه. اما به هر حال محیط و اوضاع و احوالی که مارکس در آن زندگی کرده و به عظمت رسیده رو قشنگ توصیف میکنه. آیزایا برلین این کار رو خیلی بهتر در کتاب رمانتیسیسم انجام میده و ما را قادر به درک یک دورهی تاریخی میکنه که در کشور خودمون چنین دورهای وجود نداشته است.
با خوندن این کتاب به یک سر
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
There is not too much in this book, other than some bio notes, which are interspersed. Sir Berlin, he was knighted, was a poor writer and so there are a lot of meanderings and duplications in the text. It can be boring. Berlin quotes from Marx's books and his own. really poorly written. on the plus side it's short but amorphous -- berlin refers to people and events and gives no historical significance to their appearance. probably the most unexpected thing about the book is despite the 10 chapte ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
I think this was mostly worth reading for the various prefaces and introductions, all from 1950-60s Britain and America, who are completely within the bounds of anti-communist discourse and yet trying to justify the writing of a somewhat positive biography of Marx. The biography itself was middling, though pleasant. This despite the fact that, as the author of the introduction says, "like so many Englishmen, [Berlin] writes surpassingly well." (Them Brits you know... they're all born to write li ...more
Personal biographic details are relegated to the background in lieu of an extraordinarily lucid and convincing presentation of the philosophic—and to a lesser extent, the economic—foundations and framework which undergirt the hirsute German genius' enduringly influential corpus of utopian and pseudo-scientific historical materialism. Berlin is not by any means a fan, but he's fair—and exceptionally learned.
Michailidis Michael
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Marx as seen from the eyes of a historian of ideas rather than a zealot. Berlin is going back through time to put back the pieces that led this brilliant man in his path of engineering a philosophy that has withstood multiple attacks on all fronts. It might be lacking slightly on its description of the scientific side of Marx's work and the analysis that can be done through it.
untungnya buku yang didapat bukan yang covernya ini:


senangnya sang diri dapet buku langka dan sptnya bagus ini:)
bakal bisa jadi bacaan tepat di bulan suci.
biografinya nabi. Nabinya kaum buruh satu bumi!
Aman Kalia
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of most sensible semi-biographical account of Marx i have come across. Sir Berlin sound absolutely stunning in each & every line, especially when he is discussing 19th century philosophers & their ideas.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites
A clear concise erudite exploration and explaination of Marx's ideas in the context of his life and times. Simply a must read for anyone interested in the ideas that had so much influence and effect in the 20th century.
javad aarabi
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"بگذارید طبقات حاکم از تصور برپایی یک انقلاب کمونیستی،برخود بلرزد.پرولتاریا چیزی ندارد که از دست بدهد-به جز غل و زنجیرهایش-اما می تواند جهانی را به دست آورد.کارگران سراسر جهان،متحد شوید."

مانیفست کمونیست-مارکس ،انگلس
Matthew Matheson
Jan 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: owned-books
Read more of his books.
Dec 16, 2007 rated it liked it
read 09.09.90
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
A fine biography of Marx. Berlin does an excellent job elucidating the foundations and influences of Marx's philosophy as well as the impact of his thought since his death.
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Besides being a biography of Marx, this book is a great short survey of 19th century history and philosophy.
Erik Toren
A good introduction in the life of Karl Marx and his theories.
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meen by: Got it for $1 at The Strand!
(The 3rd edition that I have is a hardcover, but I didn't feel like adding another edition to GR.)
Feb 12, 2008 added it
Shelves: socialism
A good short primer on the life and ideas of Marx.
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Sir Isaiah Berlin was a philosopher and historian of ideas, regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the twentieth century. He excelled as an essayist, lecturer and conversationalist; and as a brilliant speaker who delivered, rapidly and spontaneously, richly allusive and coherently structured material, whether for a lecture series at Oxford University or as a broadcaster on the BBC Thir ...more
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