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A.J.P. Taylor: Save the Round Reading-Room! , 20 February 1986

... a century scholars from all countries have used this reading-room as their work-place and refuge. Karl Marx himself occupied seat G38. That alone should rally in protection of the Reading-Room. But there is a more concrete reason for defending it. It is the best place in England in which to read. And yet high-grade architects are shouting to tear the ...

It takes a village

C.A. Bayly: Henry Maine, 14 July 2011

Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism 
by Karuna Mantena.
Princeton, 269 pp., £27.95, March 2011, 978 0 691 12816 0
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... such as Fustel de Coulanges and Barthold Niebuhr. He even came to the notice of an irritated Karl Marx, who derided the ‘blockhead Maine’. By the 1880s, Marx had come to believe that the Russian village community, the mir, could provide the basic unit of a future egalitarian Communist society. He deplored ...

Marx v. The Rest

Richard J. Evans: Marx in His Time, 23 May 2013

Karl MarxA Nineteenth-Century Life 
by Jonathan Sperber.
Norton, 648 pp., £25, May 2013, 978 0 87140 467 1
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... Do we need another biography of Marx to go alongside the many we already have? The justification given by Jonathan Sperber is compelling. Previous accounts of Marx’s life have gone one of two ways. Either he is seen as a prophet of modern times, a seer whose theories help us understand the predicament we are in, especially in times of economic crisis, an inspiration to everyone who wishes to see state and society emancipated and transformed ...


A.J.P. Taylor: A New Carl, 5 September 1985

... after one of the statesmen of modern times. I must confess that I have got nearly to overlooking Karl Marx as worthy of admiration. But of course he is. In my opinion, most of his most famous book is nearly unreadable, though patches of The Communist Manifesto have their merits and The Civil War in France is without faults. Now I have a grandson who ...

V.G. Kiernan writes about the Marx sisters

V.G. Kiernan, 16 September 1982

The Daughters of Karl MarxFamily Correspondence 1866-98 
edited by Olga Meier, translated by Faith Evans.
Deutsch, 342 pp., £14.95, June 1982, 0 233 97337 0
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... In a fond description of her three daughters when the eldest was 19, Marx’s wife said that Laura’s eyes shone ‘with a continual fire of joy’. All three had a happy childhood, however materially pinched, like the ‘Little Women’ they sometimes compared themselves with. One was to die of cancer before reaching 40, the other two died by suicide ...

Burke and History

Owen Dudley Edwards, 22 January 1981

Edmund Burke and the Critique of Political Radicalism 
by Michael Freeman.
Blackwell, 250 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 631 11171 9
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by C.B. Macpherson.
Oxford, 83 pp., £4.50, October 1980, 0 19 287518 3
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... With the inevitable exceptions of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Marx, it is doubtful whether any political thinker has inspired more sustained imbecility among his friends and enemies than Edmund Burke. And, despite first appearances, his appeal is far less predictable than theirs. Both Aquinas and Marx were in the first place theoreticians: the latter died at his desk, the former should have done ...

Short Cuts

Sadiah Qureshi: Black History, 22 November 2018

... instead of, say, German and French? Academics ask students to read Tacitus, Herodotus, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, Jacques Derrida and, more rarely, Judith Butler. But how many are also required to read Audre Lorde, Stuart Hall, Frantz Fanon, Jasbir Puar, Sara Ahmed, Kim TallBear or Kimberlé Crenshaw? What if these writers ...

From the Other Side

David Drew, 18 July 1985

... which the causes mean and thwart. ‘Erasmus’ by Siegfried Kracauer, in Ernst Bloch zu Ehren Marx and Nietzsche are the last German philosophers to have captured the popular imagination outside the German-speaking world. If Nietzsche has lost – and lost perhaps to Freud – the dubious honour of being in that sense a household name, that is no ...


Mary Beard: What’s left of John Soane, 17 February 2000

John Soane: An Accidental Romantic 
by Gillian Darley.
Yale, 358 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 300 08165 0
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John Soane, Architect: Master of Space and Light 
by Margaret Richardson and Mary-Anne Stevens.
Royal Academy, 302 pp., £45, September 1999, 0 300 08195 2
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Sir John Soane and the Country Estate 
by Ptolemy Dean.
Ashgate, 204 pp., £37.50, October 1999, 1 84014 293 6
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... Only two grave monuments in London have been designated as Grade One Listed Buildings: the icon of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, and the aggressively idiosyncratic construction that is the memorial to the family of Sir John Soane (‘architect to the Bank of England &c &c &c’, as the inscription proclaims) in the burial ground next to Old St Pancras ...

At Tate Modern and Modern Art Oxford

Peter Campbell: Joseph Beuys and Jannis Kounellis, 17 March 2005

... paintings in gold frames from the host museum’. Their dates fall within the lifetime of Karl Marx. The bags and packets had a ‘simplicity and authenticity’ which reminded Beuys of his childhood. They tell us that ‘we do not need all that we are meant to buy today to satisfy profit-based capitalism.’ The pictures point the finger at ...


George Steiner, 5 May 1988

Visions and Blueprints: Avant-Garde Culture and Radical Politics in Early 20th-century Europe 
edited by Edward Timms and Peter Collier.
Manchester, 328 pp., £29.50, February 1988, 0 7190 2260 6
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... materialism, and his attempts, sometimes profoundly ironic, to make some hybrid of Proudhon and Marx, on the one hand, and messianic mysticism, on the other, are set out. A larger point arises. In this book, references to Lukacs, Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Adorno, Trotsky, Marcuse, not to speak of ...

In the Library

Inigo Thomas, 25 April 2013

... as it’s also known, a Grade II listed housing project inspired by the very much larger Karl Marx-Hof in Vienna. To the east is St Pancras and the renovated King’s Cross. Sandwiched between the two stations is the campus of Central St Martins, the name given to the merger between the Central School of Arts and Crafts and St Martin’s School ...


Jon Elster, 18 March 1982

Marx’s Politics 
by Alan Gilbert.
Martin Robertson, 326 pp., £16.50, August 1981, 0 85520 441 9
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The History of Marxism. Vol. 1: Marxism in Marx’s Day 
edited by Eric Hobsbawm.
Harvester, 349 pp., £30, January 1982, 0 7108 0054 1
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Dialectic of Defeat: Contours of Western Marxism 
by Russell Jacoby.
Cambridge, 202 pp., £15.80, January 1982, 9780521239158
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Analytical Foundations of Marxian Economic Theory 
by John Roemer.
Cambridge, 230 pp., £19.50, August 1981, 0 521 23047 0
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Karl MarxThe Arguments of the Philosophers 
by Allen Wood.
Routledge, 304 pp., £13.50, January 1981, 0 7100 0672 1
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... Up to a fairly recent time it was the case that all good books on Marx were hostile, or at most neutral. Correlatively, all the books that espoused Marx’s views did so in a way that could only dissuade the reader who approached Marx with the same canons of scholarship and argument that he would apply to any other writer ...

Tang of Blood

Christian Lorentzen: Something to Do with Capitalism, 5 June 2014

... way is to note the time and place, the state of the family and any complications. In Eleanor Marx: A Life (Bloomsbury, £25), Rachel Holmes tries for something more vivid; ‘was born’ won’t do. She uses the present tense, and an active verb: ‘Eleanor Marx tumbles prematurely into the world in London at the ...


Wendy Steiner, 28 June 1990

The New Women and the Old Men: Love, Sex and the Women Question 
by Ruth Brandon.
Secker, 294 pp., £16.95, January 1990, 0 436 06722 6
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... the Fellowship of the New Life, and Olive Schreiner enlivened the Men and Women’s Club. Eleanor Marx felt obliged to decline membership there for fear of shocking the ladies by her unmarried cohabitation with Edward Aveling. Perhaps not entirely genteel (Ellis marvelled at the intensity of her body odour on warm summer walks), she worked tirelessly for ...

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