Karl Marx (1818-1883)-philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist, current affairs journalist, and editor-was one of the most influential and revolutionary thinkers of modern history, but he is rarely thought of as a Jewish thinker, and his Jewish background is either overlooked or misrepresented. Here, distinguished scholar Shlomo Avineri argues that Marx's Jewish origins did leave a significant impression on his work. Marx was born in Trier, then part of Prussia, and his family had enjoyed equal rights and emancipation under earlier French control of the area. But then its annexation to Prussia deprived the Jewish population of its equal rights. These developments led to the reluctant conversion of Marx's father, and similar tribulations radicalized many young intellectuals of that time who came from a Jewish background.
Avineri puts Marx's Jewish background in its proper and balanced perspective, and traces Marx's intellectual development in light of the historical, intellectual, and political contexts in which he lived.
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About the Author
Shlomo Avineri is professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. A leading Israeli political scientist, he is the author of The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx and The Making of Modern Zionism.
Roger Clark is a professional actor and voice-over artist who lives in New York City. He has performed in over forty-five countries.
Table of Contents
1 Jew? Of Jewish Origin? A Converted Jew? 1
A Daughter's Testimony
The Father: Tribulations of a Jewish Advocate
Beginnings: From Law Student to Philosophical Radical
2 Transcending Hegel 18
Eduard Gans and the Young Hegelians
The Rheinische Zeitung and the Beginnings of Social Critique
A Hegelian Retrospective
The Proletariat-The New Universal Class
Religion and Opium
3 "Zur Judenfrage" 41
Support for Jewish Emancipation and Critique of Judaism
Another Defense of Jewish Emancipation
4 Paris and Brussels: Formative Years 55
Homo Faber and Alienation: The Foundations of Philosophical Anthropology
Visions of Communism
Against One-Dimensional Materialism
Toward The Communist Manifesto
5 The Communist Manifesto and the Revolutions of 1848 84
Historical Analysis and Revolutionary Program
The Ten Regulations: A Program for Revolutionary Transformation
1848 and the Neue Rheinische Zeitung
6 London: From Abject Penury to Middle-Class Existence 101
Private Travails and Public Setbacks
Rethinking the Revolution
Shifting Views on Nationalism
On India and the "Asiatic Mode of Production"
7 The First International and Das Kapital 122
Between Family Concerns and Lassalle
On Political Economy
The International Workingmen's Association
Das Kapital, Volume 1
Darwin-and Promoting Das Kapital
8 The Paris Commune and the Gotha Program: Debacle and Hope 149
"The Most Vilified Man in London"
A Nascent Social Democrat?
An Incongruous Encounter: Marx and Graetz
9 Toward the Sunset 174
On Russia: Against Historical Inevitability
The Last Years
A Historical Perspective: Impact and Legacy 186
Epilogue: Distant Echoes? 194
A Note on Sources and Further Reading 199