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.