Gr 6-9 This ``meat and potatoes'' biography is an analytical and unbiased basic look at Karl Marx and the theories he developed. Biographical facts are noted, and parallels are drawn as to what effect they may or may not have had on his emerging political and economic theories. For example, his poverty and exile are shown to have shaped his thinking as did his friendship with other intellectual giants of the 19th Century, such as Friedrich Engels. There are no frills here. The book covers the basic material, adding nothing new. There are no illustrations. As a basic beginning text introducing Marx to middle school students, it does an adequate job. James Steed, Robert Frost Junior High School, Schaumburg, Ill.