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Dwight GarnerMr. Hunt…embarks on a two-part rescue mission in Marx's General. He wants first to show us the human Engel, portraying him as gregarious and bighearted. He also works mightily to defend Engels against most of the calumnies later committed in his and Marx's names. Mr. Hunt is so successful at the first goal that the big takeaway of Marx's General may be that Engels, best known as a ruthless party tactician, comes across as the Mario Batali of international communism: a jovial man of outsize appetites who was referred to by his son-in-law as "the great beheader of Champagne bottles"…Clearly there is some cognitive static in our sense of this man, and it is one of the achievements of Mr. Hunt's book that he pulls the multiple strands of Engels's personality into a nearly coherent whole.
—The New York Times