About the Book
The Manifesto of the Communist Party
Friedrich Engels has often been credited in composing the first drafts, which led to The Communist Manifesto. In July 1847, Engels was elected into the Communist League, where he was assigned to draw up a catechism. This became the Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith. The draft contained almost two dozen questions that helped express the ideas of both Engels and Karl Marx at the time. In October 1847, Engels composed his second draft for the Communist League entitled, The Principles of Communism. The text remained unpublished until 1914, despite its basis for The Manifesto. From Engels's drafts Marx was able to write, once commissioned by the Communist League, The Communist Manifesto, where he combined more of his ideas along with Engels's drafts and work, The Condition of the Working Class in England.
Although the names of both Engels and Karl Marx appear on the title page alongside the "persistent assumption of joint-authorship", Engels, in the preface introduction to the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto, said that the Manifesto was "essentially Marx's work" and that "the basic thought... belongs solely and exclusively to Marx.
About the Author
Karl Marx, 1818-1883
German philosopher, political economist, historian, sociologist, humanist, political theorist, and revolutionary credited as the founder of communism. Marx summarized his approach to history and politics in the opening line of the first chapter of The Communist Manifesto : “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Marx argued that capitalism, like previous socioeconomic systems, will produce internal tensions which will lead to its destruction. Just as capitalism replaced feudalism, socialism will in its turn replace capitalism and lead to a stateless, classless society which will emerge after a transitional period, the "dictatorship of the proletariat".
While Marx remained a relatively obscure figure in his own lifetime, his ideas began to exert a major influence on workers' movements shortly after his death. This influence gained added impetus with the victory of the Marxist Bolsheviks in the Russian October Revolution in 1917, and few parts of the world remained significantly untouched by Marxian ideas in the course of the twentieth century.
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