Penguin, $13.00, 128 pages
What can I say about The Communist Manifesto that hasn’t been said before? No other non-religious text has been either sanctified or vilified nearly as much as this one book. To the communist, this book explores the constant class struggle and isolation that the worker is forced to submit to, just to earn money to survive. The committed capitalist says that democracy and capitalism significantly raise the standard of living for millions of people.
Marshall Berman’s introduction reminds us that The Communist Manifesto remains an important piece of western political theory, and philosophy. The collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union does not negate the importance of the text itself. The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848 is very readable. Additionally, Penguin Classics have reproduced the Marx and Engels prefaces to the various language editions produced in the 1870s, 80s, and 90s. The English translation, is first rate, the book edge has that rough cut feel that I like. It’s not a smooth glossy edition. There are few books in the world that have changed the world, this is one. Drop all of your preconceptions, and take a look at it.
Reviewed by Brad Wright