Biographies of Karl Marx - reading guide

Karl Marx, Jenny Marx, Eleanor Marx, Laura Marx and Friedrich Engels

Book length or pamphlet length (10,000 words+) or otherwise notable English-language biographies of the life of Karl Marx in chronological order

Engel's speech (1883) Friedrich Engels
https://libcom.org/library/marx-death-engels

Marx: The Man and His Message (1910) Keir Hardie
(Labour party)
https://libcom.org/library/marx-man-his-message-1910-keir-hardie
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karl_Marx_the_man_and_his_message.pdf

Karl Marx: His Life and Work (1910) John Spargo
(Socialist Party of America)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-his-life-work-1910-john-spargo
https://archive.org/details/cu31924002310864

Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch (1914) Vladimir Lenin
(Bolshevik)
http://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-brief-biographical-sketch-1914-vladimir-lenin
https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/granat/index.htm
https://archive.org/details/KarlMarxABriefBiographicalSketchWithAnExpositionOfMarxism

Karl Marx: The Man and his work and the Constructive Elements of Socialism (1918) Karl Dannenberg
(Socialist Labor Party)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-man-his-work-1918-karl-dannenburg
http://digital.library.pitt.edu/u/ulsmanuscripts/pdf/31735066228721.pdf

Karl Marx: The Story of His Life (1918) Franz Mehring
(Social Democrat)
https://libcom.org/history/karl-marx-story-his-life-franz-mehring
https://www.marxists.org/archive/mehring/1918/marx/

Karl Marx: An Essay (1921) Harold Laski
(Labour party)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-essay-1921-harold-laski
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.217939

The Life and Teaching of Karl Marx (1925) M. Beer
(Leninist - German Communist Party)
https://libcom.org/library/life-teaching-karl-marx-1925-m-beer
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.228158
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/37290

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1927) David Riazanov
(Bolshevik)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-friedrich-engels-1927-david-riazanov
https://www.marxists.org/archive/riazanov/works/1927-ma/

Karl Marx: His Life and Work (1928) Otto Rühle
(Council communist)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-his-life-work-1928-otto-r%C3%BChle
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ruhle/1928/marx/
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.58873
http://www.redtexts.org/html/ruhle_marx.html

Marx: Man and Fighter (1933) Boris Nicolaievsky and Otto Maenchen-Helfen
(Menshevik)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-man-fighter-1933-boris-nicolaievsky-otto-maenchen-helfen
https://www.scribd.com/document/122733163/Karl-Marx-Man-and-Fighter-pdf
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.238453
http://www.redtexts.org/html/man_and_fighter.html

Karl Marx (1938) C. J. S. Sprigge
(Guardian journalist)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-1938-c-j-s-sprigge
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.59084

Karl Marx (1939) Karl Korsch
("Western Marxist")
https://libcom.org/history/karl-marx-karl-korsch
https://www.marxists.org/archive/korsch/1938/karl-marx/

Karl Marx: His Life and Environment (1939) Isaiah Berlin
(Liberal)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-his-life-environment-1939-isaiah-berlin
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.226880

Reminiscences of Karl Marx (1944) Paul Lafargue and Wilhelm Liebknecht
(Marxist)
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.38818

Karl Marx: An Illustrated History (1960) Werner Blumenberg
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-illustrated-history-1960-werner-blumenberg
https://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/werner-blumenberg-potrait-of-marx.pdf

Karl Marx (1960) Jean Bruhat
(Leninist - French Communist Party)

Marx (1963) Arnold Kettle
(Leninist - Communist Party of Great Britain)

Karl Marx: A Biography (1968) Heinrich Gemkow
(Leninist - German Communist Party)
https://archive.org/details/MarxBiographyGDR

Karl Marx: His Life and Thought (1973) David McLellan
https://libcom.org/history/karl-marx-biography-david-mclellan-3rd-edition

Marx Without Myth (1975) Maximilien Rubel
(Left communist)
https://libcom.org/library/marx-without-myth-1975-maximilien-rubel
https://archive.org/details/marx-without-myth

Karl Marx: An Intimate Biography (1976) Saul K. Padover
(Anti-communist)

Marx for Beginners (1976) Rius
https://archive.org/details/MarxForBeginners-English

Karl Marx: A Biography (1977) P. N. Fedoseyev
(Leninist - Communist Party of the Soviet Union)
(1977 edition)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-biography-1977-p-n-fedoseyev
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1ZP6ZurgOg-MGtJZ24xWExDUzQ/view
(1989 edition)
https://archive.org/details/KarlMarxABiography

Marx: Life and Works (1980) Maximilien Rubel
(Left communist)

Marx's Fate: The Shape of a Life (1993) Jerrold Seigel
(Academic)
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PmLoKuAOu6wC&printsec=frontcover

The Incomplete Marx (1994) Felton Shortall
https://libcom.org/library/incomplete-marx

A Requiem for Karl Marx (1995, Harvard University Press) Frank E. Manuel
(Academic)
https://books.google.co.uk/books/p/harvard?id=ZdGy25z1sUAC&printsec=frontcover

Karl Marx (1998, Harvard) Professor Michael E. Rosen
(Academic)
http://ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu/~cottrell/ecn265/rosen_on_marx.pdf

Karl Marx (1999) Francis Wheen
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r_3c34tQm0cC&printsec=frontcover

Marx (2009) Vincent Barnett
(Academic)
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2oq4BAAACAAJ

Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography (2010) Rolf Hosfield
(Academic)
https://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-intellectual-biography-2010-rolf-hosfield
https://rosswolfe.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/rolf-hosfeld-karl-marx-an-intellectual-biography1.pdf

Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (2011) Mary Gabriel
https://libcom.org/library/love-capital-mary-gabriel

The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (2012) Alex Callinicos
(Trotskyist)
https://libcom.org/library/revolutionary-ideas-karl-marx-2012-alex-callinicos
http://mexicosolidarity.org/sites/default/files/Callinicos%20-%20Revotionary%20idea%20of%20Marx.pdf

Karl Marx (Critical Lives) (2012) Paul Thomas
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fPRBe5OZ8mUC&printsec=frontcover
http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781861899064

Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life (2013) Jonathan Sperber
(Academic)
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hBpSh9JYAKcC&printsec=frontcover

Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (2016) Gareth Stedman-Jones
(Academic)
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mu2pCwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover

A World to Win: The Life and Thought of Karl Marx (2018) Sven Eric-Liedman
(Social Democrat?)
https://www.versobooks.com/books/2711-a-world-to-win

Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society (2019) Michael Heinrich
(?)

Comments

Michael Rosen
Feb 13 2017 12:00

Arnold Kettle: 'Marx' (1963)

jondwhite
Feb 13 2017 22:21

Cheers, added various biographies.

jura
Jun 16 2018 22:33

There's a new one (2018), available only in German for now. A three-volume project by Michael Heinrich, it's called "Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society". The first volume, on the 1818 – 1841 period, is over 400 pages. It's extremely detailed and also goes into the various debates. It includes a critical essay on biography as a genre. The next volumes are planned for 2020 and 2022.

http://www.schmetterling-verlag.de/page-5_isbn-3-89657-085-4.htm

I think this sets a new standard for Marx biographies.

Agent of the In...
Jun 17 2018 13:55

@ jura

Is there an english translation in the works? If so, how soon do you think it will be available? Are there reviews on the first volume that you think can be put up in the library?

jura
Jun 17 2018 16:08

Unfortunately, I have no idea, and I've only seen reviews in German so far.

doug
Jun 18 2018 07:17

Yes, an English translation has apparently been completed by Alexander Locascio - the same guy who did the Introduction to the Three Volumes. It should be out this year. Or at least that's what I've heard. But I'm still waiting for The Science of Value!

Noah Fence
Jun 18 2018 10:17

Any documentaries or films you’d recommend?
Thanks.

Agent of the In...
Jun 18 2018 13:30
doug wrote:
Yes, an English translation has apparently been completed by Alexander Locascio - the same guy who did the Introduction to the Three Volumes. It should be out this year. Or at least that's what I've heard. But I'm still waiting for The Science of Value!

According to one long time regular poster, The Science of Value was suppose to be released as part of the Historical Materialism book series, in 2013 at the earliest.

Noah Fence wrote:
Any documentaries or films you’d recommend?
Thanks.

Have you heard of The Young Karl Marx, directed by Raoul Peck? It unfortunately got a mixed reception, but it should still make for an interesting watch.

doug
Jun 18 2018 13:32

Btw, Michael Heinrich speaks about his biography in English here. Elsewhere (I think at Historical Materialism), he's talked favourably about the parallels between Marx and anarchism, especially in terms of the free development of the individual. I'm a big fan! grin

Angelus Novus
Jul 15 2018 16:11

Announced release date for the English translation of the Heinrich is February 2019:

https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Marx-Birth-Modern-Society/dp/1583677356/ref=sr_1_3_twi_har_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531671093&sr=1-3