Karl Marx: A Life [Francis Wheen] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A brilliant book, by a superb author, about a necessary man. Francis Wheen’s biography of Marx, from which this is extracted, even the most devoted follower of Karl Marx will recognise the merit of Francis’s study. Karl Marx has ratings and 85 reviews. Ahmad said: Karl Marx, Francis Wheenتاریخ نخستین خوانش: هفتم مارس سال میلادیعنوان: کارل مارکس؛ نویسنده.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Karl Marx by Francis Wheen. Karl Marx by Francis Wheen. A major biography of the man who, more than any other, made the twentieth century. Written by an author of great repute. The history of the 20th century is Marx’s legacy. Not since Jesus Christ has an obscure pauper inspired such global devotion — or been so calamitously misinterpreted.
The end of the century is a good moment to strip away the mythology and try to redisco A major biography of the man who, more than any other, made the twentieth century.
The end of the century is a good moment to strip away the mythology and try to rediscover Marx the man. There have been many thousands of books on Marxism, but almost all are written by academics and zealots for whom it is a near blaspemy to treat francie as a figure of flesh and blood. In the past few maex there have been excellent and successful biographies of many eminent Victorians and yet the most influential of them has remained untouched.
In this book Francis Wheen, for the first time, presens Marx the man in all his brilliance and frailty — as a poverty-stricken Prussian emigre who became a middle-class English gentleman; as an angry ftancis who spent much of his adult life in scholarly silence in the British Museum Reading Room; as a gregarious and convivial host who fell out with almost all his francjs as a devoted family man who impregnated his housemaid; as a deeply earnest philosopher Paperbackpages. Karl MarxFriedrich Engels.
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A loveable old rogue
To ask other readers questions about Karl Marxplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Feb 02, Buck rated it really liked it Shelves: Chaos theory now makes a little more sense to me.
In a famous riff on Hegel, Marx once said that history repeats itself, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. His life was a grubby, shambolic farce that somehow gave birth to a world-historic tragedy. If Stalinism was a misreading of Marx, it was at least a plausible misreading. But, okay, Marx himself was no monster, and Wheen does a good job of humanizing the old bogeyman — almost too good a job, actually: For the first two-thirds of the book, Marx comes across as a bit of a loser, a schlemiel: And yet, damn it, the man was a genius.
Deirdre McCloskey, a hardcore neoliberal and therefore the furthest thing imaginable from a Marxist calls him the greatest social critic of the nineteenth century. As a philosopher and economist, he was a horror show, but as a writer and all-around shit disturber, he has few equals. He was also a doting grandfather. Eleven people showed up for his funeral.
View all 42 comments. Jul 25, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: However I didn’t get a sense of Marx’s intellectual development or of his thinking from this book.
Karl Marx by Francis Wheen
In that respect this is very much a book of its time: By contrast Wheen takes the view that Marx in Das Capital is the equivalent of Dickens as a great painter of the landscape of Victorian Britain. This makes it a fun, knockabout biography but doesn’t offer much as to the whys and wherefores of the thinking that had a major influence not just in a narrow political sense but also in a wide range of sociological and cultural applications.
McLellan’s Marx was both more interesting and very much shorter. View all 16 comments. Nov 11, Nigeyb rated it really liked it. I came away from this entertaining, interesting book with a good feel for his life and times: Thus started a roving life until, after the unsuccessful European revolutions ofand having been made unwelcome in Germany and Belgium, he pitched up in London, the last refuge of the rootless revolutionary where he lived in Dickensian poverty with bailiffs at his door Helpfully, his friend Engels, a great cotton Lord and kind of secret agent behind enemy lines, sent him money to keep him afloat for years.
It was only Marx’s desire to keep up bourgeoise appearances that meant he was permanent spending more than he could afford including, hilariously, for a period, a preening, libidinous and incompetent private secretary, and only because he thought it appropriate for a man of his position to have one. It’s a balanced, compact and very readable account of one of most influential thinkers of his era. Nov 01, Gabriel Fugazi rated it it was amazing.
Francis Wheen does for Marx what Safranski did for Schopenhauer. The wild years of philosophy are not over in this book.
It’s actually brilliant, especially considering the tons of bullshit that have been said and written about Marx in recent years. Sometimes you find yourself missing the good old hagiography. Wheen on the other hand is not in the sanctifying business. His Marx is neither a saint, nor a devil, but a genuine crazy-cat bohemian philosopher.
Here is one view on Marx and his influence: As the author points out, there are a lot of books giving detailed critiques of Marxist theory and no need for yet another. Marx himself also wrote a lot, some of which has o Here is one view on Marx and his influence: Marx himself also wrote a lot, some of which has only been published relatively recently. Francis Wheen has obviously read quite a lot of Marx’s writings himself and his selective quotes are often both illuminating and amusing, particularly from letters.
The approach is light and anecdotal, but not lacking in scholarship which some of the reviews concentrating on Marx’s attacks of boils might lead one to believe. He gives a rounded picture of Marx the man and Marx the thinker, and debunks a few myths along the way. Marx’s family and friends, collaborators and opponents also feature much more strongly; Marx was not a lonely philosopher scribbling the years away in garrets and the British Library, although he did spend a lot of time there.
Both the way Wheen treats his subject and his writing style make this a very interesting and enjoyable book, whether the reader is interested in Marxism or not. Nov 30, Stephen McQuiggan rated it it was amazing.
Demonized and reviled by mythology posing as fact, the hirsute Prussian emigre has suffered badly at the hands of History. Wheen reclaims Marx from the totalitarians and capitalists who used and abused him.
It reads like an adventure novel; the prose is immaculate and very, very funny. Wheen goes against the grain by showing how Marx correctly predicted the major events of the 20th Century. It is pleasing to know that Marx, who understood the workings of capital more than any other, was as waste Demonized and reviled by mythology posing as fact, the hirsute Prussian emigre has suffered badly at the hands of History.
It is pleasing to know that Marx, who understood the workings of capital more than any other, was as wasteful with lucre as I.
The deep friendship with Engels comes across without ever having to be underlined, plus there is a great dissection of self-styled ‘hero’ Bakunin. I doubt I’ll ever read a better biography, regardless of the subject.
Marx deserved a book like this. Feb 24, Robert Varik rated it liked it.
That said, oli see veidikene kuiv ja igav lugemine minu jaoks. Aug 24, Josh Jewell rated it really liked it.
A typically precocious and enjoyable romp from one of Grub Street’s real intellectuals. Hugely entertaining and readable. When Wheen started the book in he provocatively chose the least seemingly fashionable or relevant topic possible; now, as throughout history, it’s proving to be suddenly pertinent all over again.
May 19, Subvert rated it really liked it. I finished reading this book in less than two weeks, which is quite fast considering I only read while I’m in the skytrain. But with this book I found myself reading and walking through the crowded Bangkok streets at the same time, occasionally pushing over some Thai people. A flawed genius that wrote one of the most important and influential books in human history. Marx here comes by as a sectarian asshole alienating almost all his comrades all the time, as being mostly dirt poor, but also as be I finished reading this book in less than two weeks, which is quite fast considering I only read while I’m in the skytrain.
Marx here comes by as a sectarian asshole alienating almost all his comrades all the time, as being mostly dirt poor, but also as being unable on giving up on bourgeois conveniences private secretary, maid etc that fitted a man of his caste and therefore leading his family to unnecessarily suffer from lack of foodas a loving housefather that becomes a real softy at old age, as one that jokes together with Engels about nigger jews, of him supposedly impregnating the maid, as a serious binge-drinker, and how he rises and falls in infamy several times in his life.
It’s a fascinating subject and I didn’t know Marx’s life was that interesting.
A Human Being
Also, sad are the endings of all Marx’s children, with all the daughters that outlived him killing themselves leaving Karl Marx without any grandchildren. That Lenin spoke at Wbeen Marx’s funeral in claiming that her father’s ideal would soon become reality is also a fun little tidbit. Don’t expect a critical engagement with Marxist theory or anything like that.
This is about Marx, the human. Although, there’s enough on the theory in it that can help you pretend what you’re talking about when discussing Marxism with your friends. Quite interestingly, Francis Wheen does however make the case that people should take Marx’s theory seriously and he was kar this book in the “end-of-history” late 90s.
Highly recommended to everyone though. While I’ve not read any of the other bibliographies on Marx, this must be -the- book you have to read if you’re interested in Karl Marx’s personal life, which is in fact pretty damn interesting. Jun 12, Lolita Lark rated it really liked it.
We always heard that Marx was a humorless drudge, the equivalent of a computer geek, slaving away in the British Museum Reading Room.
He was a merry one, or at least as merry as francix could be having been born in dreary Trier, Germany. He was a dynamite speaker, especially when there was a brouhaha amongst his fellow rabble-rousers, as there usually was.