Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 13, 2019

Michael Heinrich’s “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society”, V. 1: a review

Filed under: Karl Marx biography — louisproyect @ 9:34 pm


The first installment of Michael Heinrich’s three-volume biography of Karl Marx titled “Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society” is now available from Monthly Review Press. In keeping with MR’s long-time tradition as a movement rather than an academic press, the cloth edition is $34.95 and the eBook is only $19.95. Given the renewed attention to Karl Marx since the financial crisis of 2008, it will help us understand how his life and thought evolved. Heinrich is a consummate scholar of Marxism, best known until now for his 2012 “An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital”, also available from MR.

At 384 pages, Heinrich’s first volume is almost as long as Francis Wheen’s 1999 “Karl Marx: a Life” that won the prestigious Isaac Deutscher award that year. Out of curiosity, I read the first 59 pages of Wheen that covers approximately the same time frame as Heinrich’s, namely from Marx’s birth in 1818 to the completion of his Ph.D. dissertation in 1841.

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1 Comment »

  1. Karl Marx’s nickname was “The Moor”, or the black man? None of the eurocentric writers covering his lifes work seem to know this or if they do they dont want to speak to this question? Why Marx never wrote about African genius ie the NIle Valley ciivlizations despite it being well known at the time that the greeks and subsequently romans adopted the Nile Valley pantheon of religious figures (Herodotus wrote how the gods of Greece came from Egypt?) is something that has long left me wondering about Marx, especially since Constantine Volney’s classic work Ruins of Empires as well as Higgins work on the same subject were in the London Museum reading room which Marx inhabited for many years?
    I have learned not to expect much from the eurocentric historians when it cmes to anything linked to being a “Moor” in Europe at the time.
    Thomas C. Mountain
    asmara, eritrea

    Comment by thomas c. mountain — September 18, 2019 @ 4:59 am

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