Timely reading: “Engels, A Revolutionary Life”

BY:Tim Wheeler| March 6, 2011

“Engels: A Revolutionary Life”
By John Green
Artery Publications, London, 2008
347 pages, order paperback from publisher, Kindle edition $15 at Amazon.com

From People’s World

Recent public opinion polls reveal surprisingly strong positive feelings for socialism and growing disgust and anger at capitalism’s insatiable profit greed in the United States. A 2010 Gallup poll, for example, found that 37 percent of Americans believe socialism is superior to capitalism.

With the corporate ultra-right waging open class warfare against working people, is it any wonder? Wages, health care, pensions and job security are under brutal attack from the corporate oligarchy. It is only logical that people searching for answers would be curious about the founders of the worldwide socialist movement, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

John Green’s biography of Engels should be required reading for these radicalized masses. He brings Engels alive, a foe of all dogma and ossified, empty slogans. Green traces Engels’ ideas as they developed with great speed in response to the class struggle erupting around him. He studied these movements but also joined in the struggles. When the Civil War erupted in the U.S., Engels devoted one day each week to reading the bag of mail that arrived from the U.S. and then wrote a series of columns in Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune on the urgent task of abolishing slavery.

The book has romance, adventure, a touch of intrigue, worthy in my opinion of being turned into one of those “Upstairs/Downstairs” BBC Masterpiece dramas we all love to watch on PBS. At the center of it all is Engels, the tall, dashing son of a German manufacturer sent to Manchester, England, to manage the family’s textile mill.

Read the rest of the article here.



    Tim Wheeler is a national political correspondent for the People's World and member of its editorial collective. He has been a reporter and editor for the working-class press for over 43 years.

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