Overview

Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War, with Marx writing on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the urgency of suppressing slavery and the cause of “free labor.” In his introduction Robin Blackburn argues that Lincoln’s response to the IWA was a sign of the importance of the German American community as well as...
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An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln

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Overview

Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln exchanged letters at the end of the Civil War, with Marx writing on behalf of the International Working Men’s Association. Although they were divided by far more than the Atlantic Ocean, they agreed on the urgency of suppressing slavery and the cause of “free labor.” In his introduction Robin Blackburn argues that Lincoln’s response to the IWA was a sign of the importance of the German American community as well as of the role of the International in opposing European recognition of the Confederacy.

The International went on to attract many thousands of supporters in over fifty regions of the US, and helped to spread the demand for an eight-hour day—enacted by Congress in 1868 for Federal employees. Blackburn shows how the International in America—born out of the Civil War—sought to radicalize Lincoln’s unfinished revolution and to advance the rights of labor, uniting black and white, men and women, native and foreign–born. The International contributed to a profound critique of the capitalist robber barons who enriched themselves during and after the war. It inspired an extraordinary series of strikes and class struggles in the postwar decades.

In addition to a range of key texts and letters by both Lincoln and Marx, this book includes Raya Dunaevskaya’s assessment of the impact of the Civil War on Marx’s theory and a survey by Frederick Engels of the progress of US labor in the 1880s.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844677979
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 5/16/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 760,770
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Robin Blackburn teaches at the New School in New York and the University of Essex in the UK. He is the author of many books, including The Making of New World Slavery, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, Age Shock, Banking on Death, and The American Crucible.

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States and the author of several seminal speeches and writings, including the Gettysburg Address. He died in 1865.

Karl Marx was born in 1818, in the Rhenish city of Trier, the son of a successful lawyer. He studied law and philosophy at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, completing his doctorate in 1841. In Paris three years later, Marx was introduced to the study of political economy by a former fellow student, Frederick Engels. In 1848 they collaborated in writing The Communist Manifesto. Expelled from Prussia in the same year, Marx took up residence first in Paris and then in London where, in 1867 he published his magnum opus Capital. A co-founder of the International Workingmen’s Association in 1864, Marx died in London in 1883.

Frederick Engels was born in 1820, in the German city of Barmen. Brought up as a devout Calvinist he moved to England in 1842 to work in his father’s Manchester textile firm. After joining the fight against the counter revolution in Germany in 1848 he returned to Manchester and the family business, finally settling there in 1850. In subsequent years he provided financial support for Marx and edited the second and third volumes of Capital. He died whilst working on the fourth volume in 1895.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Abraham Lincoln

First Inaugural Address 105

Emancipation Proclamation 115

Gettysburg Address 119

Second Inaugural Address 121

Karl Marx

The North American Civil War 127

The American Question in England 139

The Civil War in the United States 151

The American Civil War 161

A Criticism of American Affairs 173

Abolitionist Demonstrations in America 177

Letters

Letter from Marx to Annenkov 185

Letters between Marx and Engels 189

Letters between Marx and Lincoln 211

Articles

Woodbull & Claflin 219

Independence vs. Dependence! Which? 219

The Rights of Children 222

Interview with Karl Marx 225

Conclusion to Black and White Thomas Fortune 233

Preface to the American Edition of The Condition of the Working-Class in England Frederick Engels 239

Speeches at the Founding of the Industrial Workers of the World Lucy Parsons 251

Acknowledgments 259

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