The Communist Manifesto (1844)

The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and published in 1848. By some accounts, it ranks second only to the Bible in terms of copies printed. The Communist Manifesto appeared during the turbulent year of 1848 as revolutionary uprising were sweeping across Europe in a sign of mass discontent with the exisiting political order. It is a call to political action, containing the famous command, “Workers of the world unite!” But Marx and Engels also used the book to spell out some of the basic truths, as they saw it, about how the world works.

Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (1927)

The 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts remained unpublished during Marx’s lifetime and did not surface until 1927, some forty-four years after his death. These manuscripts illustrate the young Marx’s transition from philosophy to political economy (what is now called economics). 

In the guide Selected Works of Karl Marx, SparkNotes offers three sections of Summary & Analysis sections of essays from the 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts: a section that discusses “Estranged Labour” and a section about the essays “The Meaning of Human Requirements” and “Critique of Hegelian Dialectic and Philosophy as a Whole.”

Popular pages: Das Kapital