“Just as man is governed, in religion, by the products of his own brain, so, in capitalist production, he is governed by the products of his own hand”: Rare First Edition in English of Karl Marx's Landmark Work Capital
Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production.
Item Number: 97862
London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1887.
Rare first edition in English of Karl Marx’s seminal work in both economic and political thought. Octavo, 2 volumes, original cloth. Translated from the third German edition by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, edited by Friedrich Engels. Octavo, original publisher’s maroon cloth, gilt titles to the spine, In excellent condition, with some offsetting to title-page of volume I from portraits of Marx and Jevons, rebacked. A nice example, as most examples have been rebound.
"Marx himself modestly described Das Kapital as a continuation of his Zur Kritik des Politischen Oekonomie, 1859. It was in fact the summation of his quarter of a century's economic studies". The 'Athenaeum' reviewer of the first English translation (1887) later wrote: 'Under the guise of a critical analysis of capital, Karl Marx's work is principally a polemic against capitalists and the capitalist mode of production, and it is this polemical tone which is its chief charm.' The historical-polemical passages, with their formidable documentation from British official sources, have remained memorable; and, as Marx". wrote to Engels while the volume was still in the press, 'I hope the bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles all the rest of their lives.' Carbuncles, financial embarrassment and political preoccupations of many kinds hampered Marx's work on Das Kapital, which he would never have completed but for the material and moral support of Engels"." (PMM 359). "In his funeral eulogy for Karl Marx, Engels concluded that 'Marx was above all a revolutionary". It is doubtful that any figure in history has inspired more violently contradictory opinions than Karl Marx" (Downs, 22). "Only this first part of Marx's magnum opus appeared in his lifetime," with its publication in German in 1867 (PMM 359). The remainder was constructed by Engels from Marx's posthumous papers. Containing Marx's central concept of surplus value, this first edition in English is translated from the third German edition of Moore and Aveling, is edited by Engels and incorporates substantial revisions Marx made for the first French translation (1872-5).