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Jonathan Sperber

Marx in His Time—and in Ours

Three years ago I wrote a post here—“Karl Marx and Intellectual History”—that used reviews of Jonathan Sperber’s 2013 biography Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life to ask questions about the relationship between biography and intellectual history. One of the reviews was by Terry Eagleton. Given my affinity for Eagleton I took his criticisms of Sperber at face value before reading the book itself. Eagleton made two charges that resonated with me. First, he disagreed with Sperber’s claim that Marx’s writings were a product of nineteenth-century concerns and thus don’t speak to twenty-first century problems. Second, Eagleton asserted that Sperber did not Read more