Friday 27 February 2009

Manchester, Engels and the Making of Marxism

I know you are all excited about our forthcoming Lecture. There will be the usual cake + history + pub, but the event also brings this year's New History Lab sessions to a close. Don't be too despondent: below you can read the blurb from Tristram, which is bound to cheer you up. Remember we start an hour earlier (cake 3:30pm, start by 4pm).
"Friedrich Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto and life long ideological ally of Karl Marx, lived in Manchester from 1842-44 and 1850-1870. Each period of residency proved instrumental in the development of Marxism. The first gave Engels an understanding of materialism, the proletariat and the function of private property – all of which came to be expressed in The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845). His longer stay in 'Cottonopolis' – as a merchant in the cotton industry – not only brought to light the troubling contradictions of Engels's bourgeois existence, but through Manchester's public culture of science helped turn his thinking in a markedly scientistic direction. This proved the essential and under-appreciated intellectual preamble for Engels's far more scientific interpretation of Marxism in the 1870s and 1880s (Anti-Dühring; Dialectics of Nature) and much of what constituted official, 20th century Marxism.
Dr. Tristram Hunt, historian of the Victorian city and biographer of Friedrich Engels at Queen Mary, University of London, will explore the changing role of Manchester in the development of Marxism on Friday 13th March…"