In this article former National Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia Eric Aarons reviews a new book on the life and work of Karl Marx. Eric explores this new title in light of his vast experience as a socialist activist. Amongst the themes Aarons explores are: Marxism determinism, the Hegelian connection, the historical context of Marx's work, and the question of class as the central category for socialism.
The publication of Jonathon Sperber’s new book Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life is a notable and welcome event. It is very well written, and uses the new MEGA (Marx and Engels’ Collected Works) which corrects and replaces, on the basis of meticulous research, older translations, and even whole books such as The German Ideology, never published by Marx or Engels. It is not suggested that such errors were deliberate, but correcting them provides a more reliable basis for scholarship.