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Presents the first major study of Marx and Engels in two decades and the only study since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the recognized crisis of global capitalism.
"Nimtz has set out to change the way we think about Marx and Engels's place in history by asking not just what they said and wrote, but how this related to what they actually did, and studying this practical side of their work in detail--something which has been surprisingly neglected. It is an original and timely book. Whether or not one accepts the claim that Marx and Engels played the leading role in the ultimately successful struggle for democracy, contrary to the opposite claim of so many 'marxologists,' Nimtz has made a very powerful case for it." -- Colin Leys, coeditor of The Communist Manifesto Now; Socialist Register 1998
According to Nimtz, no two people contributed more to the struggle for democracy in the nineteenth century than Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Presenting the first major study of the two thinkers in the past twenty years and the first since the collapse of the Soviet Union, this book challenges many widely held views about their democratic credentials and their attitudes and policies on the peasantry, the importance of national self-determination, the struggle for women's equality, their so-called Eurocentric bias, political and party organizing, and the possibility for socialist revolution in an overwhelmingly peasant and underdeveloped country like late-nineteenth-century Russia.
"Marx and Engels's signal contribution to the 'democratic breakthrough' in the nineteenth century is massively documented and keenly argued in this book. I was interested in and impressed by the comparative analysis of Tocqueville and Marx-Engels--it is vigorously but lucidly written." -- Herbert G. Reid, University of Kentucky
August H. Nimtz, Jr. is Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Islam and Politics in East Africa: The Sufi Order in Tanzania.
Table of Contents
The Democratic Urge and Commencement of a Revolutionary Partnership
The Quest for Democratic Rule
The Partnership Begins
From Theory to Practice: Toward a Communist Party
Preparing for Revolution
The Communist League
The Revolutions of 1848–1849: Participating in the "Real Movement"
Prelude to Revolution
The Revolution Begins
The Return to Germany
The June Revolution
Toward the People's Alliance
The End of the Revolutionary Upsurge and the Lessons of Struggle
From Revolution to Counterrevolution
The Lessons of Revolution
Interpreting the 1848–1851 Events in France: Marx and Engels versus Tocqueville
Marx and Engels versus Their Contemporaries
Marx and Engels versus Tocqueville
Political Adjustments to the Long Lull in the Class Struggle
The Communist League: An "episode in the history of a party"
Preparing for the Next Upsurge
A New Revolutionary Era and the Birth of the First International
Precursors of Organized Political Activity
The First International: "A Mighty Engine at Our Disposal"
The First International: From Brussels to the Paris Commune
The Breadth of the Marx Party Activities
The Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune
The First International: The Final Years and Legacy