Few writers have had a more demonstrable impact on the development ofthe modern world than has Karl Marx (1818-1883). Born in Trier into amiddle-class Jewish family in 1818, by the time of his death in Londonin 1883, Marx claimed a growing international reputation.
Of central importance then and later was his book Das Kapital, or, as it is known to English readers, simply Capital. Volume One of Capitalwas published in Paris in 1867 and is included in this edition. Thiswas the only volume published during Marx’s lifetime and the only tohave come directly from his pen. Volume Two, available as a separateWordsworth eBook, was published in 1884, and was based on notes Marxleft, but written by his friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels(1820-1895).
Readers from the nineteenth century to the present have been captivatedby the unmistakable power and urgency of this classic of worldliterature. Marx’s critique of the capitalist system is rife with bigthemes: his theory of ‘surplus value’, his discussion of theexploitation of the working class, and his forecast of class conflict ona grand scale. Marx wrote with purpose. As he famously put it,‘Philosophers have previously tried to explain the world, our task is tochange it.’
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