In this essential new biography—the first to give equal weight to both the work and life of Karl Marx—Sven-Eric Liedman expertly navigates the imposing, complex personality of his subject through the turbulent passages of global history. A World to Win follows Marx through childhood and student days, a difficult and sometimes tragic family life, his far-sighted journalism, and his enduring friendship and intellectual partnership with Friedrich Engels.
Building on the work of previous biographers, Liedman employs a commanding knowledge of the nineteenth century to create a definitive portrait of Marx and his vast contribution to the way the world understands itself. He shines a light on Marx’s influences, explains his political and intellectual interventions, and builds on the legacy of his thought. Liedman shows how Marx’s masterpiece, Capital, illuminates the essential logic of a system that drives dizzying wealth, grinding poverty, and awesome technological innovation to this day.
Compulsively readable and meticulously researched, A World to Win demonstrates that, two centuries after Marx’s birth, his work remains the bedrock for any true understanding of our political and economic condition.
“Neoliberalism is increasingly exposed as a failed experiment and many people are now exploring the tradition of radical politics for solutions to the challenges we now face. This book brings to life the early history of the socialist tradition.”
“A World to Win is an illuminating investigation into the multiple personalities of this infinitely fascinating figure. There’s a strong case to be made that Marx was neither a philosopher nor a scientist. He discovered his own ‘ways of seeing’ that defied and continue to defy easy categorization.”
“Makes clear that Marx’s ideas, going on two centuries old, still have meaning in the present. Outstanding. [A book] to turn to for reference and deeper insight.”
“A landmark anniversary biography… Liedman’s strength is as a political philosopher and he is superbly well-equipped to take us on a tour of Marx’s intellectual workshop... a comprehensive and reliable guide.”
“Liedman is convinced that we live in a period of striking similarity to Marx’s own, and therefore his analysis of society and history are still appropriate. Unlike many other biographies of Marx, the present volume combines in-depth personality narrative and significant comments on Marx’s own works. This analysis not only looks at the social and political context of the early industrial revolution Europe, but also takes into consideration the intellectual environment of the time, German philosophy, and socialist and liberal ideas. Highly recommended.”
“A lucid, scholarly guide ... Those searching for a truly detailed discussion of Marx should turn here.”