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The Literate Communist

150 Years of the "Communist Manifesto</I>


Donald Clark Hodges

The Literate Communist sheds new light on the modern world's most consequential political tract. Professor Hodges' thesis is that the Communist Manifesto is not what it claims to be - a forthright and faithful expression of what communists believed in 1848 - and that its subsequent adaptations periodically opened the door to and slammed the door shut on communism. Part I introduces students to the Manifesto's conspiratorial legacy stemming from the great French Revolution of 1789-1794 and to Marx and Engels' informal amendments to it. Part II examines the 150-year-old posthistory of the Manifesto and its interpretations that pull in opposite directions. The author concludes that the Janus-faced Manifesto played a key ideological role in not only the rise, but also the demise of the Soviet Union.