The Baltimore Sun

Dispatches for the New York Tribune By Karl Marx

Before achieving fame as a political philosopher, Karl Marx wrote lots of journalism, in Germany, in England and for Charles Dana, editor of Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, then the newspaper with the biggest circulation in the world. John F. Kennedy once said that maybe if Greeley had paid Marx a few bucks more, the Russian Revolution and the Cold War would never have happened, a great joke with a kernel of truth hiding in it. Whatever we make of the answers Marx gave in Das Kapital, these vivid pieces show how clearly he perceived and felt the problems of poverty and ownership in the first stages of industrial capitalism. Marx writes about the opium trade, about the lonely death of an itinerant, about Ireland, about the history of property rights in Scotland and about British hypocrisy concerning American slavery - all with a dispassionate detail that makes his conclusions persuasive. Amazing stuff.

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