The communist manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

365 pages

English language

Published July 16, 1963 by Russell & Russell.

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (3 reviews)

The Communist Manifesto, originally the Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is a political pamphlet written by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London in 1848, the Manifesto remains one of the world's most influential political documents. It presents an analytical approach to class struggle and criticizes capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, without attempting to predict communism's potential future forms. The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels' theories concerning the nature of society and politics, namely that in their own words "[t]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism. In the last paragraph of the Manifesto, the authors call for a "forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions", which …

77 editions

An interesting historical read

4 stars

The manifesto is mostly just interesting as a historical piece for me, especially in terms of leftist history. Ideologically it's still pretty interesting to read, however some parts of it have naturally become a bit outdated which has even been acknowledged by Marx and Engels some 25 years later.

The edition of the manifesto I read even includes multiple prefaces by Engels throughout the years which further gave an amazing insight into history and what they felt and thought at the time. Additionally the book also included Engel's The Principles of Communism which practically functioned as an FAQ to fully illustrate what exactly Communism is and it stands for.

Review of 'The communist manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.6 stars. If this were written today, people would demand research, stats, and data to support its conclusions. There were a lot of declarations where Marx and Engels just said things. “The proletariat is this,” and “The bourgeois thinks that” type of phrasing.

There also oddly seemed like there were unfinished thoughts. For example, free education and the abolishment of child labor is advocated for, and the paragraph where this is discussed ends with “etc, etc.” Really Marx? “etc, etc?” I can see Lenin now, channeling his inner Marx — “We’re going give power to the worker, and like, whatever.”

It also decried prison reform, humanitarianism, and the prevention of the cruelty to animals as “conservative bourgeois socialism.” That seems a bit cynical to me. The manifesto seems to be implying that these issues would just go away without the bourgeois, and that a society where workers are in control …


  • Socialism