When Monthly Review Press reprinted this classic work in 1973, Paul M. Sweezy wrote the reasons for doing so in a brief foreword:
"Back in the 1930s when I was planning a course on the economics of socialism at Harvard, I found that there was a dearth of suitable material in English on all aspects of the subject, but especially on Marx and Marxism. In combing the relevant shelves of the University library, I came upon a considerable number of titles which were new to me. Many of these of course turned out to be useless, but several contributed importantly to my own education and a few fitted nicely into the need for course reading material. One which qualified under both these headings and which I found to be of absorbing interest was David Riazanov's Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels which had been written in the mid-1920s as a series of lectures for Soviet working-class audiences and had recently been translated into English by Joshua Kunitz and published by International Publishers.
"I assigned the book in its entirety as an introduction to Marxism as long as I gave the course. The results were good: the students liked it and learned from it not only the main facts about the lives and works of the founders of Marxism, but also, by way of example, something of the Marxist approach to the study and writing of history.
"Later on during the 1960s when there was a revival of interest in Marxism among students and others, a growing need was felt for reliable works of introduction and explanation. Given my own past experience, I naturally responded to requests for assistance from students and teachers by recommending, among other works, Riazanov's Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. But by that time the book had long been out of print and could usually be found only in the larger libraries (some of which, as has a way of happening with useful books, had lost their copies in the intervening years). We at Monthly Review Press therefore decided to request permission to reprint the book, and this has now been granted. I hope that students and teachers in the 1970s will share my enthusiasm for a work which exemplifies in an outstanding way the art of popularizing without falsifying or vulgarizing."
His sentiments are shared. So here's a digital edition, permanently archived on the net, thus never off the library shelf. Download or print out your own copy.
|THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN ENGLAND.
THE GREAT FRENCH REVOLUTION AND ITS INFLUENCE UPON GERMANY.
|THE EARLY REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT IN GERMANY.
THE RHINE PROVINCE.
THE YOUTH OF MARX AND ENGELS.
THE EARLY WRITINGS OF ENGELS.
MARX AS EDITOR OF THE Rheinische Zeitung.
|THE RELATION BETWEEN SCIENTIFIC SOCIALISM AND PHILOSOPHY.
THE HISTORIC MISSION OF THE PROLETARIAT.
|THE HISTORY OF THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE.
MARX AS AN ORGANIZER.
THE STRUGGLE WITH WEITLING.
THE FORMATION OF THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE.
THE Communist Manifesto.
THE CONTROVERSY WITH PROUDHON.
|THE GERMAN REVOLUTION OF 1818.
MARX AND ENGELS IN THE RHINE PROVINCE.
THE FOUNDING OF THE Neue Rheinische Zeitung.
GOTSCHALK AND WILLICH.
THE COLOGNE WORKINGMEN'S UNION.
THE POLICIES AND TACTICS OF THE Neue Rheinische Zeitung.
MARX'S CHANGE OF TACTICS.
THE DEFEAT OF THE REVOLUTION AND THE DIFFERENCE
OF OPINIONS IN THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE.
|THE REACTION OF THE FIFTIES.
THE New York Tribune.
THE CRIMEAN WAR.
THE VIEWS OF MARX AND ENGELS.
THE ITALIAN QUESTION.
MARX AND ENGELS DIFFER WITH LASSALLE.
THE CONTROVERSY WITH VOGT.
MARX'S ATTITUDE TOWARD LASSALLE.
|THE CRISIS OF 1867-8.
THE GROWTH OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT
IN ENGLAND, FRANCE AND GERMANY.
THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION IN 1862.
THE CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA.
THE COTTON FAMINE.
THE POLISH REVOLT.
THE FOUNDING OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL.
THE ROLE OF MARX.
THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
|THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL.
THE LONDON CONFERENCE.
THE GENEVA CONGRESS.
THE LAUSANNE AND BRUSSELS CONGRESSES.
BAKUNIN AND MARX.
THE BASLE CONGRESS.
THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR.
THE PARIS COMMUNE.
THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN MARX AND BAKUNIN.
THE HAGUE CONGRESS.
|ENGELS MOVES TO LONDON.
HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE GENERAL COUNCIL.
ENGELS TAKES HIS PLACE.
THE LAST YEARS OF MARX.
ENGELS AS THE EDITOR OF MARX'S LITERARY HERITAGE.
THE ROLE OF ENGELS IN THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL.
THE DEATH OF ENGELS.