Originally published 07/21/2013
Don’t underestimate the reach of “The Daily Show.”After Jonathan Sperber, a University of Missouri history professor, appeared on the show in April to discuss “Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life,” his biography of the German philosopher and revolutionary, he heard from several old friends. “That included the girl I had a crush on in 1966,” Sperber said recently....
Originally published 04/01/2013
Jonathan Freedland is an editorial page columnist for The Guardian of London.The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.