‘It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these same governments, just at that time, dosed the German working-class risings’.
The Communist Manifesto is, perhaps surprisingly, a most engaging and accessible work, containing even the odd shaft of humour in this translation by Samuel Moore for the 1888 English edition. It is, of course, an essential introduction to the thoughts and theories of Karl Marx and his collaborator and editor Friedrich Engels and therefore to the development of communism.
This brief but iconoclastic work, essentially a pamphlet, covers the history of the bourgeoisie, aspects of ‘class struggle’ with descriptions and analyses of numerous workers’ parties and movements up to the 1840s. It predicts and elaborates upon the defeat of capitalism and communism’s ultimate global victory. Written over 150 years ago it pulsates with energy, insight and contemporary relevance, ending with the rallying cry, ‘Workers of the World Unite.’ Greg Wagland, a history graduate and enthusiast, brings a certain freshness and energy to his reading of this far from dusty tome. A word about the narrator: born in Oxford, England, Greg Wagland is a classically trained actor, who attended St. Andrews University and drama school. He has worked in television, radio and theatre appearing in productions with the likes of Richard E. Grant, Penelope Keith, Bill Pertwee, Matt Smith, Roger Allam, Liza Goddard, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray and Lindsay Duncan. He has recorded over 50 audiobooks, a number of those for the well-respected Talking Book Service of the RNIB. Now for Magpie Audio he is putting together an eclectic collection of classic fiction and non-fiction works and is always happy to receive suggestions for new titles.
"Our narrator has little to add, except his own words and in this capacity Greg Wagland has his work cut out. The trick with a reading of this kind is to make a clear distinction between which character has what voice, otherwise things could get complicated." (The Guardian)
"Greg Wagland’s crescendo-free rendition allows this brilliantly structured novel to speak for itself." (The Spectator)
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My advice, set speed to 1.5
- Kindle Customer
Interesting to see what changed over time