Introduction by Tristram Hunt
Gareth Stedman Jones’s new biography of Karl Marx is a remarkable work of intellectual history and critical analysis. Rooting Marx within his nineteenth-century political and cultural context, Stedman Jones brilliantly draws out Marx’s contributions as economic historian, radical polemicist, and political actor – as well as husband, son, father and friend. It is a complete life of Karl Marx which both understands the man and challenges the legacy. As such, it represents the culmination of Stedman Jones’s academic career as historian of nineteenth-century thought, chronicler of Outcast London, sceptical friend of socialism, and a scholar determined to undo the Anglo centricity of British historicism with a keen reading of European currents. This conversation explores the origins and nature of Stedman Jones’s biography – and some contemporary reflections on capitalism, feminism, and the Left.
Gareth Stedman Jones is Professor of the History of Ideas at Queen Mary, University of London. He is also a founder editor of the History Workshop Journal. He is the author of several books, including the now classic Outcast London: A Study in the Relationship Between Classes in Victorian Society.
Tristram Hunt is Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London. He is an intellectual and cultural historian, with a particular focus on the urban past. Hunt is currently the MP for Stoke on Trent Central.