Book Review: Shoddy Scholarship
Marx and Engels: Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy by Lewis S. Feuer (Fontana, 9s. 6d.)
Surely the market for Marx-Engels anthologies must be all but played out for a while? Feuer’s collection includes all the obvious choices such as the whole of the Communist Manifesto, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific and the Critique of the Gotha Programme plus part of the preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. In addition there are excerpts from many other works, including some of the early writings like the German Ideology and Toward the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Some of the letters and essays included are not readily available elsewhere — such as the On Authority article.
The volume is marred by Feuer’s introduction which is facile when it is not down right ill-informed (“. . . led Marx to abandon the theory he had held that ever society must go through the same sequence of stages”; “In Marx’s thought . . . the working class will found a socialist, then a communist society”, etc. etc.) This is rather shoddy scholarship, even for a sociology professor.