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Friedrich Engels (1820–1895)

Author of The Communist Manifesto

264+ Works 28,910 Members 233 Reviews 22 Favorited

About the Author

Friedrich Engels is perhaps best remembered as the confidant, colleague, and benefactor of Karl Marx. Engels was born into a Calvinist family on November 28, 1820. The family owned fabric mills in the Rhineland and had business interests in Manchester, England, Engels joined the family business at show more age 16; he never had a formal university education. Despite his family's industrial background, Engels was sympathetic to the poverty of the working masses. At age 18 he published an attack on industrial poverty, and later joined the Hegelian movement that so influenced Marx and bothered conservative Prussian authorities. Engels first met Marx in 1842, while Marx was editor of a radical newspaper in Cologne. However, they did not establish their lifelong friendship until they met again in Paris two years later. Engels published several works related to economics, the first of which, Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (1844), attempted to reconcile Hegelian philosophy with the principles of political economy. His second book, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), was a damning description and condemnation of the poverty generated by the Industrial Revolution. Engels also co-authored three major works with Marx, the most important being the Communist Manifesto (1948). Engels also wrote several historical works, which are more important to historians than to economists. These include The Peasant War in Germany (1850), Germany: Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1851), and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). In general, these works are more descriptive than theoretical, and they closely parallel Marx's views on industrialization and class struggle. In addition to being a friend of Marx, Engels was his prime benefactor for a number of years. During their early years in London, beginning in 1849, the Marx family was nearly destitute, and it was only through the generosity of Engels that they prevailed. Engels was also responsible for the publication of Marx's Das Kapital. Before his death, Marx was only able to complete the first volume of this work, and so Engels edited and arranged for the publication of the last two volumes after Marx's death. Engels was an engaging and thoughtful writer. It was perhaps his great fortune and misfortune that he was connected so closely to Marx. On the one hand, he was responsible for bringing much of Marx's work to fruition in his role as benefactor and editor. On the other hand, the shadow of Marx eclipsed some of the exposure that Engels's own ideas and contributions might have had. Engels died of throat cancer in London, 1895. Following cremation at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne as he had requested. (Bowker Author Biography) Friedrich Engels, German political economist, was born in what is now known as Wuppertal, in 1820. From 1842 to 1844 Engels worked in a textile mill in Manchester, England. During this time Engels theorized that all of the social unrest and worker discontent he encountered were the direct result of private ownership of property. He concluded that social ills could be eliminated only through a class struggle culminating in the end of private ownership and the establishment of a communistic form of government. The publication of his Condition of the Working Class (1844) reiterated his philosophy and his conclusions about an inevitable class struggle. Friedrich Engels first met Karl Marx in 1842. When they met again in Paris in 1844, the two men discovered they had a great similarity of views and decided to work together. They delineated the principles of communism, later known as Marxism, and their work resulted in the founding of an international communistic movement. The Communist Manifesto, penned by Marx, was based in part on a draft Engels prepared. It became renowned as the classic exposition of modern communism, and it had a profound influence upon all subsequent literature dealing with communism. Marx and Engels' partnership lasted until Marx's death in 1883. Engels carried on his work by editing the second and third volumes of Marx's Das Kapital. Friedrich Engels died in 1895. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) 1856 photograph


Works by Friedrich Engels

The Communist Manifesto (1848) 14,606 copies
The Marx-Engels Reader (1972) 2,816 copies
The German Ideology, including Theses on Feuerbach (1932) — Author — 702 copies
The Civil War in France: The Paris Commune (1871) — Author; Foreword, some editions — 460 copies
On Religion (1957) — Author — 252 copies
Dialectics of Nature (1940) 210 copies
Selected Works (1958) 171 copies
Der deutsche Bauernkrieg (1966) — Author — 162 copies
On Literature and Art (1947) 106 copies
The Housing Question (1930) 94 copies
The Principles of Communism (1847) 86 copies
The Essential Left (1960) 72 copies
Engels on Capital (1937) 68 copies
On Colonialism (1965) 62 copies
Articles on Britain (1775) 32 copies
Anti-Dühring / Dialectics of Nature (1962) — Author — 31 copies
Selected Writings (1967) 23 copies
Selected Works, Vol. 2 (1976) 14 copies
O socialismo jurídico (2012) 12 copies
Revolución en España (1939) 12 copies
The British Labor Movement (1934) 11 copies
On Marx (1975) 11 copies
The Wages System (1977) 10 copies
Oeuvres, tome 2 (1966) 9 copies
Ten Classics of Marxism (1940) 9 copies
On Communist Society (1975) 7 copies
Riassunto del «Capitale». La forma di valore (1997) — Author — 6 copies
Les utopistes (1999) 6 copies
Critica dell'anarchismo (1972) 6 copies
Ausgewählte Werke (1988) 6 copies
The American Journalism of Marx & Engels (1966) — Author — 5 copies
Marx-Engels i kamp (1972) — Author — 5 copies
The Socialist Revolution (1978) 5 copies
Anti-Schelling 4 copies
On Authority 4 copies
Principes du communisme (2020) 4 copies
Über Kultur, Ästhetik, Literatur (1973) — Author — 4 copies
Om feodalismen (1972) 3 copies
Filosofiske skrifter (1974) 2 copies
Über Ludwig Feuerbach (1972) — Author — 2 copies
Correspondence 2 copies
Textos 2 copies
El socialismo (1976) 2 copies
Socialism 1 copy
Die Armee (1956) 1 copy
De la autoridad (2004) 1 copy
Auf Reisen 1 copy
Temas militares (1975) 1 copy
1: 1868-1886 1 copy
Kadin ve Aile (2000) 1 copy

Associated Works

Das Kapital (1861) — Editor, some editions — 1,632 copies
Capital, Vol. 2: A Critique of Political Economy (1885) — Editor — 1,091 copies
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852) — Introduction, some editions — 869 copies
Capital, Vol. 3: A Critique of Political Economy (1894) — Editor — 835 copies
The Poverty of Philosophy (1847) — Preface, some editions — 470 copies
Das Kapital, Gateway Edition (Skeptical Reader) (1987) — Editor — 352 copies
The Varieties of History: From Voltaire to the Present (1956) — Contributor — 321 copies
The Essential Feminist Reader (2007) — Contributor — 309 copies
Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History (1996) — Contributor — 205 copies
Western Philosophy: An Anthology (1996) — Author, some editions — 181 copies
The Portable Victorian Reader (1972) — Contributor — 176 copies
The Utopia Reader (1999) — Contributor — 110 copies
Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Business Ethics and Society (1990) — Contributor, some editions — 72 copies
The Woman Question (1951) — Author — 67 copies
Mary Barton [Norton Critical Edition] (2008) — Contributor — 67 copies
Reader in Marxist Philosophy (1963) — Contributor — 61 copies
Classics of Modern Political Theory : Machiavelli to Mill (1996) — Contributor — 49 copies
The Modern Historiography Reader: Western Sources (2008) — Contributor — 37 copies
Political philosophy (1965) — Contributor — 33 copies
Philosophy now : an introductory reader (1972) — Contributor — 24 copies
Bakoenin : een biografie in tijdsdocumenten (1977) — Contributor — 18 copies
The Classics of Marxism, Volume One (2011) — Contributor — 12 copies
Utopie Eindexamencahier Havo vanaf 2007 (2006) — Contributor — 11 copies
Theories of the Labor Movement (1987) — Contributor — 7 copies


19th century (437) anthology (137) anthropology (111) capitalism (384) class (103) classic (108) classics (168) communism (1,506) economics (1,369) economy (128) Engels (229) essays (79) France (89) German (233) Germany (150) history (1,156) Karl Marx (196) Kindle (82) labor (74) literature (130) Marx (699) Marxism (2,104) non-fiction (1,522) own (86) philosophy (2,759) political (126) political economy (304) political philosophy (390) political science (401) political theory (471) politics (2,148) read (211) revolution (138) social science (85) social theory (116) socialism (876) sociology (423) theory (297) to-read (1,004) unread (107)

Common Knowledge



Group read: The Communist Manifesto (1848) in One Book One Thread (June 2021)


femmedyke | 133 other reviews | Sep 27, 2023 |
One of the founding documents of possibly the single most substantial political movement of modern times, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO lays out in relatively simple terms what the philosophy stands for, at least in its pure form. It expresses the desire, at its essence, I believe, to obliterate selfishness as a political force and to eliminate greed as an effective obstacle to man's happiness. That it has not succeeded in doing so despite its successes as a political game plan is perhaps more a factor of the nature of man than a fault in the concept. Despite the idealism that seems to have been at its roots, communism seems doomed to failure in its ostensible hope of achieving idealistic results. But it is hard not to agree that many of the evils of a class-divided society need addressing. Far too many people know far too little about the philosophy of communism and make their opposition (and perhaps even their support) based on misunderstanding and lack of information. A quick study of this slight book which shook the world would go far in creating an informed response to the philosophy it propounds.… (more)
jumblejim | 133 other reviews | Aug 26, 2023 |
blueskygreentrees | 133 other reviews | Jul 30, 2023 |
Warming up for my eventual resumption of Grundrisse.
Nealmaro | Jul 28, 2023 |



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Max Horkheimer Contributor
Aaron Esterson Contributor
Jürgen Habermas Contributor
Lu Hsun Contributor
Sigmund Freud Contributor
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Leon Trotsky Introduction, Contributor
Hal Draper Editor, Contributor
Howard Selsam Contributor
Mao Tse-Tung Contributor
Wendy Lynne Lee Contributor
Slavoj iek Contributor
Mihailo Marković Contributor
Y. Wagner Contributor
M. Strauss Contributor
Ernest Mandel Contributor
Karl Löwith Contributor
Bertram D. Wolfe Contributor
Antonio Negri Contributor
Eduard Bernstein Contributor
Joe Bender Contributor
Max Adler Contributor
Takis Fotopoulos Contributor
Wal Suchting Contributor
Michael Harrington Contributor
Haig A. Bosmajian Contributor
Bert Andréas Contributor
Michael Hardt Contributor
Germano Facetti Cover designer
Lucien Laurat Contributor
Iring Fetscher Editor, Afterword
A. J. P. Taylor Introduction
Killoffer Cover artist
Mark F. Smith Narrator
Marshall Berman Introduction
Mikko Lahtinen Afterword
Jean Bruhat Introduction
W. J. Rees Translator
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Florence Kelley Translator
C. P Dutt Translator, Editor
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Edward Gorey Typographer
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