What did Marx think that communism could be like?
The intensive research coupled with public silence during the last decade of Marx's life represented a new, theoretical 'post-Capital' threshold. This phase corresponded – not accidentally – with intensive studies of Russia and contacts with its theorists and revolutionaries. Russia was the first 'developing society', and its social and intellectual context were to produce by the turn of the century the first wave of 'modernisation' theories and strategies, as well as Leninism. Late Marx and the Russian Road addresses in a new way Marx's attitudes to these 'developing' or 'peripheral' societies, and to social and socialist theories that originated in them and reflect their particularities.
The book carries the first full translation into English of Marx's 1881 drafts concerning rural Russia, as well as supplementary material focused on the last decade of his life. It also presents the first translation from Russian of a sequence of writings by Chernyshevskii and the People's Will party known to have directly influenced Marx. It includes essays by Shanin, Wada, Sayer and Corrigan, which consider the late period of Marx's analysis and its interdependence with nineteenth-century experience.