Literate Communist: 150 Years of the "Communist Manifesto" / Edition 1

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Professor Hodges' thesis is that the Communist Manifesto is not what it claims to be - a forthright and faithful expression of what communists believed in 1848 - and that its subsequent adaptations periodically opened the door to and slammed the door shut on communism. Part I introduces students to the Manifesto's conspiratorial legacy stemming from the great French Revolution of 1789-1794 and to Marx and Engels' informal amendments to it. Part II examines the 150-year-old posthistory of the Manifesto and its interpretations that pull in opposite directions. The author concludes that the Janus-faced Manifesto played a key ideological role in not only the rise, but also the demise of the Soviet Union.
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Editorial Reviews

Dale Maurice Riepe
Amazingly insightful. This important and pathbreaking study offers the most comprehensive understanding to date of the perplexing and consequential 1848 Manifesto. Anyone who considers herself or himself knowledgeable about Marxism must read this book-and read it twice!
Fredrick B. Pike
The nebulous, impossible dream of Marxism retains an ability sporadically to bedazzle certain dreamers-and even some practical-minded realists. Donald Clark Hodges offers highly original explanations as to why a phoenix- and chameleon-like Marxism doesn't die-no matter the degree to which it seems to fade away.
Paul D. Thomas
The author's thesis is that the Manifesto's marriage of incompatibles paradoxically makes communism credible. The book has 'legs.' It could well be used in the classroom. Its thesis is controversial enough to attract wide notice.
Hodges (philosophy and political science, Florida State U.) contends that the immensely influential political tract is not, as it claims, a forthright and faithful expression of what communists believed in 1848. He explores its conspiratorial past in the French Revolution, Marx and Engel's informal amendments, and the adaptations and interpretations that have pulled it in different directions for the past century and a half. He shows how it played a key ideological role in both the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820441870
  • Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Major Concepts in Politics and Political
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 217

Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding the Manifesto 1
Pt. I A Perplexing Document 15
1 The League of the Just 17
2 Marx's Communist Correspondence Committees 29
3 A Marriage of Incompatibles? 47
4 Making Communism Credible 67
5 Amending the Manifesto 87
Pt. II A Consequential Document 111
6 An Anarchist Manifesto: Bakunin 113
7 A Social Democratic Manifesto: Bernstein 131
8 A Communist Manifesto: Lenin and Trotsky 141
9 A Socialist Manifesto: Stalin 159
10 A Humanist Manifesto: Khrushchev and Gorbachev 171
Conclusion: Assessing the Manifesto 185
Postscript 199
Bibliography 201
Index 211
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