Paperback, 757 pages
Released: January 1978
This is the second installment of Hal Draper’s incomparable treatment of Marx’s political theory, policy, and practice. In forceful and readable language, Draper ranges through the development of the thought of Marx and Engels on the role of classes in society. This series, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution, represents an exhaustive and definitive treatment of Marx’s political theory, policy, and practice. Marx and Engels paid continuing attention to a host of problems of revolution, in addition to constructing their “grand theory.” All these political and social analyses are brought together in these volumes, as the author draws not only on the original writings of Marx and Engels but also on the sources that they used in formulating their ideas and the many commentaries on their published work. Draper’s series is a massive and immensely valuable scholarly undertaking. The bibliography alone will stand as a rich resource for years to come. Yet despite the scholarly treatment, the writing is direct, forceful, and unpedantic throughout, and will appeal to the beginning student as much as the advanced reader.
An extraordinarily stunning work written in a fresh, open, often amusing style, which comes as a welcome relief after the turgidities of so much Marx writing. Despite its length and heavy reliance on citation, the easy prose and the intrinsic importance and interest of the subject matter make this volume pleasant and quick to read.
This is a work of Marxology in the best sense of the term. I am convinced that it is and will remain an indispensable source for all serious students of Marxian ideas in the broad field of politics and political science. There is nothing in the existing literature which is even remotely comparable to it.
Draper’s commentary is both helpful and well-written. He … cuts away some of the myths surrounding Marx’s political thought and discusses what Marx did not say about each class as well as what he did. Useful and provocative.