Paul Lafargue

The Evolution of Property

Publishers’ Preface

THE work of Paul Lafargue on the Evolution of Property was originally published as a series of articles, under the nom de plume of “Fergus,” in the Nouvelle Revue of Paris, edited by Madame Adam. The originality of the theory advanced, and the mass of facts quoted, were noted not only in France but in England. The Daily News and the Daily Telegraph, notably, called attention to the chapter on Primitive Communism – a chapter written in answer to Professor Huxley’s attack on Rousseau and Human Equality.

The Socialdemokratische Bibliothek, Hottingen, Zurich (a series of volumes issued by the German Socialist Party), has already published a translation of the work, and as soon as the more complete English edition is out it will be used as the basis of Italian and Polish translations. The Fascio Operaio, the official organ of the Italian Working Class Party, in its issue of July 27th, 1890, says:

“Lafargue’s work is an attempt to work out the history of property along the lines of the materialistic conception of history. Lafargue, by his great talent and his wide reading, is undoubtedly equal to the task he has set himself.”

The Sozial Demokrat, the official organ of the German Socialist Party as long as the persecution of Bismarck lasted, in its issue of July 5th, 1890, says:

“Lafargue’s general reading, and his special study of pre-historic times and anthropology, qualify him for the writing of a History of Property ... We can confidently recommend his work as one eminently instructive suggestive, and readable.”

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Last updated on 14.9.2008