Stop What You’re Doing and Read…Books That Changed the World: The Origin of Species & The Communist Manifesto
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Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shropshire, England. He was educated at Edinburgh University and Christ's College, Cambridge. Between 1831 and 1836 he travelled in South America aboard the H.M.S Beagle to explore the geology and natural history of the area, and published his journal of findings in 1839. His most famous book On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, appeared in 1859 and is arguably one of the most important scientific works ever published. The theories of evolution and natural selection proposed in this book and The Descent of Man (1871) are still the subject of intense debate and scrutiny today. Charles Darwin died on 19 April, 1882 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Prussia. While attending university in Berlin he was influenced by the ideas of the philosopher Hegel and his critics, the Young Hegelians, but Marx eventually rejected both schools of thought. He quickly earned the reputation of a revolutionary and left Germany for Paris, where he met his lifelong friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels. Together they wrote and published The Communist Manifesto, which was published in 1848, just before the first wave of revolutions in France. Marx returned to Germany but his radical activities led to expulsion, whereupon he moved to London. There, Marx and Engels collaborated on further works on economics and contemporary politics. Marx also wrote his major treatise, Das Kapital, but only the first volume was published in his lifetime. Marx died in poverty on March 14, 1883, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery.
Friedrich Engels (1820-95) was the son of a Manchester factory owner. He wrote several groundbreaking essays on contemporary social and political conditions in Britain, including The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), in which he criticised the working conditions and treatment of the urban poor. After Karl Marx' death, Engels completed and published the last two volumes of Das Kapital (1884, 1894) from his friend's surviving papers.
To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.
THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES & THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE
INTRODUCED BY DARWIN'S GREAT GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER RUTH PADEL
When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the H.M.S Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence which would form the basis of his landmark theory of evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as The Origin of Species in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. It also sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which still continues today.
THE COMMUNISTY MANIFESTO
INTRODUCED BY DAVID AARONOVITCH
The Communist Manifesto was first published in London, by two young men in their late twenties, in 1848. Its impact reverberated across the globe and throughout the next century, and it has come to be recognised as one of the most important political texts ever written. Maintaining that the history of all societies is a history of class struggle, the manifesto proclaims that communism is the only route to equality, and is a call to action aimed at the proletariat. It is an essential read for anyone seeking to understand our modern political landscape.
; February 2012
ISBN 9781448130627Read online
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Title: Stop What You’re Doing and Read…Books That Changed the World: The Origin of Species & The Communist Manifesto
Author: Charles Darwin; Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels
In the press
"Why does Darwin's theory matter now? Because it is the basis of modern biology and much medical research; it provides a tool with which to understand the natural world; it offers a deeper, if imperfect, understanding of our behaviour, about where we came from and where we might be going"