Penguin £10.99 (443pp) £9.89 from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
The frock-coated communist, By Tristram Hunt
Friday 30 April 2010
Which great socialist had a dog called Nameless that "had a great appetite for boozing" and was trained to "growl hideously" at aristocrats? Not only in canine matters did Friedrich Engels fail to conform to the steely template of Communist leaders.
Hunt's engaging biography describes Engels' Mancunian oscillations. One day he would be galloping with the Cheshire Hunt, the next discussing Das Kapital with Marx.
Hunt describes his double life as "by day the respectable Dr Jekyll, clerk in the cotton trade; by night Mr Hyde, the revolutionary communist."
This personality split had its physical counterpart in the bourgeois mansion kept for entertaining and the terrace dwelling for his mistress.
Yet, as Hunt argues, Engels's "critique speaks down the ages... particularly apposite when it comes to the unregulated global market".
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action