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Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels
Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels
Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels
Audiobook17 hours

Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

Written by Tristram Hunt

Narrated by Norman Dietz

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

Friedrich Engels is one of the most intriguing and contradictory figures of the nineteenth century. Born to a prosperous Prussian mercantile family, he spent his life working in the Manchester cotton industry, riding to the Cheshire hounds, and enjoying the comfortable upper-middle-class existence of a Victorian gentleman.

Yet Engels was also, with Karl Marx, the founder of international communism, which in the twentieth century came to govern one-third of the human race. He was coauthor of The Communist Manifesto, a ruthless party tactician, and the man who sacrificed his best years so that Marx could write Das Kapital. His searing account of the Industrial Revolution, The Condition of the Working Class in England, remains one of the most haunting and brutal indictments of the human costs of capitalism. Far more than Marx's indispensable aide, Engels was a profound thinker in his own right-on warfare, feminism, urbanism, Darwinism, technology, and colonialism. With fierce clarity, he predicted the social effects of today's free-market fundamentalism and unstoppable globalization.

Drawing on a wealth of letters and archives, acclaimed historian Tristram Hunt plumbs Engels's intellectual legacy and shows us how one of the great bon viveurs of Victorian Britain reconciled his exuberant personal life with his radical political philosophy. Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Europe and industrializing England-of Manchester mills, Paris barricades, and East End strikes-Marx's General tells a story of devoted friendship, class compromise, ideological struggle, and family betrayal. And it tackles head-on the question of Engels's influence: was Engels, after Marx's death, responsible for some of the most devastating turns of twentieth-century history, or was the idealism of his thought distorted by those who claimed to be his followers?

An epic history and riveting biography, Marx's General at last brings Engels out from the shadow of his famous friend and collaborator.
PublisherTantor Audio
Release dateJan 4, 2010

Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt is the director of the Victoria & Albert Museum and one of Britain’s best-known historians. His previous books, which include Cities of Empire: The British Colonies and the Creation of the Urban World and Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, have been published in more than a dozen languages. Until taking on the leadership of the V&A, he served as Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent, the home of Wedgwood’s potteries. A senior lecturer in British history at Queen Mary University of London, he appears regularly on BBC radio and television.

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Rating: 3.9615384615384617 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    A great book, easy to read if you are interested in history. It helps understand how different the "existing communism" is from the one Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx describe in their books and newspaper articles . A biography of Engels life in the historic background. The conflicts with his family and the mill business where he was born and raised. And the struggle with and about the not really unite labor movement in a time where everything seemed possible in Europe.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    A very interesting book that deals with Friedrich Engels mainly , but has lots of information on the industrial revolution in Manchester and also the huge social changes in Germany in the 19th century. It is still very relevant today as revolution spreads across North Africa and trade union members in Wisconsin fight for their collective bargaining rights.