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Love And Capital: Karl And Jenny Marx And The Birth Of A Revolution (2011)

by Mary Gabriel(Favorite Author)
4.14 of 5 Votes: 5
0316066117 (ISBN13: 9780316066112)
Little, Brown and Company
review 1: Read 40%, which I feel is enough. There's much less about Karl and Jenny's relationship here than I think I was led to expect, probably because there's not just a whole lot of surviving source material. Jenny comes off as entirely saintly, and the reader will be impressed that she put up with a lot out of her love for Karl, leaving behind an aristocratic upbringing for revolutionary penury and begging because Karl could not/would not earn money to support them, as such practicalities were far less important than the revolutionary struggle to remake society.It's more interesting as a look at the personalities of Marx and Engels, especially as young men. Karl the extraordinarily intelligent, arrogant, abrasive intellectual who rubbed most people the wrong way, even those on ... morehis side, except for a small but extremely loyal circle of friends. Foremost among those being Engels, a womanizing playboy of the aristocracy who believed Marx was the one man who could accurately see the historical and socioeconomic processes as they unfolded and prescribe the communist remedy.It's also a very good layman's overview of the politics and upheavals in Europe at the time.Gabriel writes the book out of an obvious place of sympathy for Marx, though not uncritically. She's like a good friend sometimes wagging her finger at him for his faults.
review 2: Love And Capital is more than a single biography: it’s the biography of an entire family juxtaposed with the evolution of Socialism in the 19th century. Marx was only able to sustain his cerebral onslaught against capitalist friendly regimes because his family gave him the fuel to keep him going: the fuel of love. Their sacrifices, in addition to Engels’ devotion and tremendous financial patience, made him the political icon we all know today. Exile, drama, betrayal, suicide, and the fairer aspects of love intertwine with segments about proletariat uprisings, political maneuverings, and Marx’s progress as a writer. Fast-paced chapters are filled with rich sentences, and if it weren’t for the subject material I believe it would have won a Pulitzer. A stunning achievement in every way. less
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The most satisfying, enjoyable and moving book I read in 2012.
Charming, romantic, revolutionary. A perfect book.
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