Friedrich Engels: His Life and Thought

Terrell Carver, Author St. Martin's Press $39.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-312-04501-2
In a thought-provoking biographical study, British Marxist scholar Carver takes the bold step of examining Engels as theorist and politician distinct from Marx--a heresy to many Marxists as well as anti-Marxists. The youthful Engels, who saw himself as a fighter for middle-class democracy, constitutionalism and participatory politics, proves to be much more interesting than the reductionist pamphleteer whose deterministic materialism has been ``read back into Marx,'' in Carver's judgment. There are revealing glimpses of Engels as young idealist who drew jaunty caricatures of friends, as wealthy Manchester industrialist burdened with guilt, and as a male chauvinist who kept his mistress, Irish-born millworker Mary Burns, in semi-secrecy. After she died, Engels lived openly with her sister Lizzie, christened the new ``Mrs. E,'' whom he later married at her deathbed. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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