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The following review appeared in the August 2018 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email email@example.com.
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Political Science - Political Theory
Liedman (Univ. of Gothenburg, Sweden) presents a biography of Karl Marx, the 19th-century founder of communist ideology. The author specializes in the history of ideas and political ideologies from ancient Greece to the 21st century. The book is an English translation from Swedish. The main reason for writing this 700-plus-page volume is to prove that the German thinker remains a vital source of inspiration in our time. Liedman is convinced that we live in a period of striking similarity to Marx’s own, and therefore his analysis of society and history are still appropriate. Unlike many other biographies of Marx, the present volume combines in-depth personality narrative and significant comments on Marx’s own works. This analysis not only looks at the social and political context of the early industrial revolution Europe, but also takes into consideration the intellectual environment of the time, German philosophy, and socialist and liberal ideas. On multiple occasions, the author does not shy away from directly attacking common misconceptions and exaggerations about Marx. Beyond the life of Marx, the final chapter presents main theoretical interpretations and political applications of Marxism, from the day of Marx’s death until now.--S. Mitropolitski, University of Ottawa