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As one of the most influential thinkers of the modern age, Karl Marx’s political philosophy has resounded throughout politics and history, from the nineteenth century to the present day. In recent times however the concept of ‘Marxism’ has become a vague term, of uncertain and contestable definition, increasingly inaccessible to those new to Marx’s writings. How are we to understand ‘Marxism’ when it has become so open to appropriation? In Karl Marx, Paul Thomas introduces the reader to Marx’s life and writings, to show how each cast light on the other. Concise yet detailed, Thomas concentrates directly on Marx’s nineteenth-century life and works to give a clear, precise guide to Marx’s own thought and action. The book relates Marx’s development as a critical thinker and revolutionary politician to events that took place in his own lifetime, events that strongly influenced his doctrines. A cogent, jargon-free introduction, Karl Marx welcomes those new to Marx’s life and work, as well as having much to say to students and scholars of political theory and history.