A history of socialist thought: volume I - the forerunners 1789-1850

This book, complete in itself, if the first of a series in with G.D.H. Cole is setting out to present a general history of the development of Socialist ideas against the background of world events since the French Revolution. The present volume, which ends with the collapse of the European revolutionary movement of 1848, covers the evolution of Socialist ideas in France from Babeuf to Proudhon, and in Germany from Fichte and the Young Hegelians to the earlier formulations of Marxist doctrine. It deals also with the development of socialistic ideas in Great Britain, from Paine and Godwin to Robert Owen and to the anti-Ricardian economists who formulated the theories of surplus value taken up later by Karl Marx. The method adopted in this first volume is to treat separately the leading thinkers, carrying the account beyond 1850 where this seems desirable. A special chapter is devoted to the English Christian Socialists; but the continental Christian Social movements are for the most part left over for treatment in the second volume. Consideration of the earlier phases of Russian Socialism is also deferred. The second volume covers the latter half of the nineteenth century and is succeeded by three more volumes (in five parts), bringing the story up to 1939. There is a selective bibliography as well as an index.

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