Karl Marx by Jonathan Sperber
A Nineteenth-Century Life

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For all the books that have been written about America’s founding fathers...we still await the historian who will do for them what Jonathan Sperber has done for Karl Marx.
-NY Times

Synopsis

“Absorbing, meticulously researched. . . . [Sperber] succeeds in the primary task of all biography, re-creating a man who leaps off the page.” —Jonathan Freedland, New York Times Book Review


In this magisterial biography of Karl Marx, “likely to be definitive for many years to come” (John Gray, New York Review of Books), historian Jonathan Sperber creates a meticulously researched and multilayered portrait of both the man and the revolutionary times in which he lived. Based on unprecedented access to the recently opened archives of Marx’s and Engels’s complete writings, Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life provides a historical context for the personal story of one of the most influential and controversial political philosophers in Western history. By removing Marx from the ideological conflicts of the twentieth century that colored his legacy and placing him within “the society and intellectual currents of the nineteenth century” (Ian Kershaw), Sperber is able to present a full portrait of Marx as neither a soothsaying prophet of the modern world nor the author of its darkest atrocities. This major biography fundamentally reshapes our understanding of a towering historical figure.
 

About Jonathan Sperber

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Jonathan Sperber, the author of The European Revolutions, 1848–1851, is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri. He has written extensively on the social and political history of nineteenth-century Europe.
 
Published March 11, 2013 by Liveright. 687 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Karl Marx
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Jonathan Freedland on Mar 29 2013

For all the books that have been written about America’s founding fathers...we still await the historian who will do for them what Jonathan Sperber has done for Karl Marx.

Read Full Review of Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Centu... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tristram Hunt on Jun 26 2013

...the failings of Sperber's approach are also apparent. Part of his ambition in placing Marx within his 19th-century milieu is to allow us to understand a man in his times...Yet this risks a predominantly Atlanticist perspective.

Read Full Review of Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Centu... | See more reviews from Guardian

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