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Karl Marx


The Modern Marx: A World Still Wanting to be Won
Dr. William A. Pelz
June 11, 2011, Saturday, 2:30 pm
Open University of the Left
Lincoln Park Public Library

1150 W. Fullerton, Chicago, corner Racine
Across from DePaul University 8232;(Red Line: Fullerton)

“The interest in Marx seems a vindication,” the historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote in 2008 as the global economic crisis unfolded.  “His analysis of capitalism put its finger on globalization and periodic crises and instabilities. Over the past few decades people thought the market would sort everything out, which seemed to me a statement of theology rather than reality” (The Sunday Times, 11/21/08). 

Indications of Marx’s relevancy abound, from Fukushima to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Arab Spring to Wisconsin, from anti-austerity social movements in Europe to the austerity legislation that threatens Chicago’s public school students and teachers.  

Yet, Marxist thought remains on the historical margin.  Can a reinterpretation of Marx challenge the legitimacy of market theology?  What can be learned from Marx’s own political struggles, his sense of history, his political mark on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? 

Open University welcomes historian Dr. William A. Pelz, author of the new biography, Karl Marx: A World to Win (Pearson, 2011).  The book covers the important aspects of his life and the major theoretical arguments of his work.  It also explores the Industrial Revolution through the lens of Marx’s view of socialism, not simply as an ethical idea but also as a way of framing the industrial system and its impact on workers.  (Copies of the book will be available from the author.)  Karl Marx is part of Pearson’s Library of World Biographies series, which includes books on Simon Bolivar and Sun Yat Sen. 

A Chicago native, Bill Pelz is an academic historian and specialist in European and comparative labor history.  His previous books include Against Capitalism: The European Left on the March (2007); The Spartkusbund and the German Working Class Movement (1988), and Wilhelm Liebknecht and German Social Democracy (1994).  His articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, Film & History, German History, German Studies Review, International Labor and Working Class History, International Review of Social History, Labor Studies, Journal of European Studies, Science & Society, Soviet Studies, Sozialismus, JahrBuch fuar Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, and International Labor History Yearbook, among others.Pluto Press will publish his forthcoming book, a history of the European working class, next year. 

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