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Friedrich Engels with Terrell Carver and Kaan Kangal

Sat, April 24 @ 5:05 PM - 7:30 PM

$7 – $11

MARX, ENGELS, MARXISMS SERIES

Friedrich Engels at 200

Engels Before Marx
Terrell Carver

This book examines the life and works of Friedrich Engels during the decade before he entered a political partnership with Karl Marx. It takes a thematic approach in three substantial chapters: Imagination, Observation, and Vocation. Throughout, the reader sees the world from Engels’s perspective, not knowing how his story will turn out. This approach reveals the multifaceted and ambitious character of young Friedrich’s achievements from age sixteen till just turning twenty-five. At the time that he accepted Marx’s invitation to co-author a short political satire, Engels was far better known and much more accomplished. He had published many more articles on far more subjects, in both German and English, than Marx had managed. Moreover, he had written a critique of political economy from a perspective unique in the German context, and published his own pioneering and substantial study of working class conditions in an industrializing economy. Offering an innovative approach to a largely neglected period of Engels’s life before meeting Marx, Carver upends standard narratives in existing biographical studies of Engels to reveal him as an important figure not just in relation to his more famous collaborator, but a key voice in the liberal-democratic, constitutional and nation-building revolutionism of the 1830s and 1840s.

Engels and the Dialectics of Nature
Kaan Kangal

Reading different or controversial intentions into Marx and Engels’ works has been a common but somewhat unquestioned practice in the history of Marxist scholarship. Engels’ Dialectics of Nature, a torso for some and a great book for others, is a case in point. The entire Engels debate separates into two opposite views: Engels the contaminator of Marx’s “new materialism” vs. Engels the self-educated genius of dialectical materialism. What Engels, unlike Marx, has not enjoyed so far is a critical reading that considers the relationship between different layers of this standard text: authorial, textual, editorial, and interpretational. Informed by a historical hermeneutic, this book questions the elements that structure the debate on the Dialectics of Nature. It analyzes different political and philosophical functions attached to Engels’ text, and relocates the meaning of the term “dialectics” into a more precise context. Arguing that Engels’ dialectics is less complete than we usually think it is but that he achieved more than most scholars would like to admit, this book fully documents and critically analyzes Engels’ intentions and concerns in the Dialectics of Nature, the process of writing, and its reception and edition history in order to reconstruct the solved and unsolved philosophical problems in this unfinished work.

“Why has a text on philosophy and the natural sciences written in the 19th century generated so much controversy for so many decades? Kaan Kangal surveys the battlefield in a thorough, lively and insightful way. He takes on those who have been there before him and puts forth his own fresh perspective on it all.” (Helena Sheehan, Emeritus Professor, Dublin City University, Ireland)

Terrell Carver is a Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, UK. He is a co-editor of Palgrave’s Marx, Engels, and Marxisms series, and is widely published in this area. His recent publications include a two-volume study of “The German Ideology” manuscripts with Daniel Blank (Palgrave, 2014).

Kaan Kangal is Associate Professor at the Center for Studies of Marxist Social Theory, Department of Philosophy, Nanjing University, China.

 

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