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Chapter Summary

The rich complexity of Marx's thought cannot be compressed into one easy summary, in spite of the fact that, from Engels onwards, Marx has been presented as the author of a single coherent system. In fact, at different periods of his life, Marx responded to quite different pressures and any true account of Marx has to preserve both the unity and the diversity. This chapter divides Marx's intellectual history into three periods. The first is that in which Marx developed all his fundamental theses, and this was complete by 1846. The second centres upon the revolutionary years of 1848-9. The third is that of the years in exile in London after 1849, marked both by the mature economic writings and by the founding of the First International. In the revolutionary years of 1848-9, Marx made a substantial transition from social theory to political programme.

Keywords:Engel; intellectual history; Marx; social theory



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