Rigoberta Menchú was born in Quiché, Guatemala on January 9th 1959 to indigenous Mayan parents. After leaving school she became an activist campaigner, lobbying against the human rights violations that were perpetrated during the 1960-1996 Guatemalan Civil War, by the national Guatemalan armed forces.
The workingmen of Europe feel sure that...the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy.
— Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, 1864
Today marks two hundred and thirty eight years on from the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson and others. It was Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, published in The Rights of Man and Common Sense, which inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. The passionate cry for independence continues to this day, with the recent call for a Scottish independence.
Although born in the early 19th century, the relevance of Karl Marx
's ideas for analysing 20th and 21st century capitalism, as well as for understanding the political and economic struggles and changes of his own day, remain vital and essential.
Here, Verso present a Marx Reading List for that world-changing historical thinker, born 196 years ago today.
Out in the UK this month, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and Steven Speilberg's Lincoln has energized interest in a period of American history defined by race. Rather than make our own critiques or slap downs, we present these books to fill the gaps left by Hollywood.
Derrick Morrison reviewed An Unfinished Revolution
, Robin Blackburn's latest book on the Civil War's impact on Marx and Marx's impact on America, in Solidarity's Against the Current
. Calling the book "a good read and an extraordinary handbook on the Civil War," Morrison analyzes Blackburn's account of the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx and of how "a war to 'preserve the Union,' a war to defend the Constitution, became a war for revolutionary democracy, a war to overturn the system of chattel slavery."
Visit Against the Current
to read the review in full.