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MARX, Karl.

Herr Vogt.

London: A. Petsch & Co, deutsche Buchhandlung, 1860 Stock Code: 126478
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Marx's scathing retort to Karl Vogt's attack, a brilliant critique of contemporary European politics

First edition of the work which Marx took the best part of a year away from the writing of Capital to complete, bound first in a volume of two works, the other being the second edition of Marx's Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte (Hamburg: Otto Meissner, 1869).

Herr Vogt is an answer to the slanders against himself, Engels, and their supporters that appeared in Karl Vogt's 1859 pamphlet, Mein Prozess gegen die Allgemeine Zeitung. "Herr Vogt is Marx's 'forgotten' work. Mentioned in passing - if at all - in biographical studies, and scarcely at all in discussions of his writings, it has remained for over a century largely neglected. He knew before its publication that many 'clever men' would be 'completely unable to grasp how I could squander my time on refuting such infantile nonsense'. What the clever men and their successors over the years could not or would not understand is that for Marx in 1860, as for Marxists today, the defence and security of the revolutionary party was of paramount concern

Vogt had taken the side of the petty-bourgeois democrats in 1848. Now he reached for the foulest slanders against Communists, alleging that they engaged in secret and violent conspiracies and that Marx acted among them like a dictator. In this book Marx answers Vogt line for line and charge for charge. In the first chapters he holds up to ridicule Vogt's assertion that the Communists constituted a secret conspiratorial gang, producing evidence from German emigrés which leaves the slanderer's arguments in tatters. Marx spares neither wit nor invective in demolishing his opponent" (R. A. Archer, in the preface to his English translation of Herr Vogt 1982).

Karl Vogt was "quietly teaching in Switzerland when an obscure German refugee newspaper in London accused him of being a paid agent of Napoleon III. The matter might have been forgotten if Liebknecht had not sent the accusation to the Allgemeine Zeitung, which was published in Augsburg. Liebknecht was the London representative of the German newspaper. The Allgemeine Zeitung published the story. Vogt was incensed, sued the newspaper for libel, and although the case was dismissed, he was able to claim a technical victory. He suspected, quite wrongly, that Marx was behind the attack. In fact Marx found little pleasure in the affair which dragged on for many weeks, and was relieved when it was over.

Matters might have rested in the peace of exhaustion, but late in 1859 the bitterness flared up again. A small book appeared in Germany bearing the title Mein Prozess gegen die Allgemeine Zeitung. It was Vogt's account of his lawsuit against the Allgemeine Zeitung with a stenographic record of the court proceedings and whatever explanatory and contributory documents the author could lay his hands on. Vogt was a scientist, and he took care that the documents should be quoted with exemplary accuracy. Occasionally he would give initials rather than full names, but he was careful not to tamper with anything else. Here, finally, was the full evidence for Marx's treachery and duplicity as revealed in precise and objective testimony. There were no appeals to the gallery, only the documents. Vogt's presentation was masterly, and no one reading the book casually could imagine that it would be possible to rebut the evidence" (Payne, Marx, a Biography, p. 318). Marx, outraged at the attack, replied in 1860 with Herr Vogt, in which he denounced Vogt for intrigue, slander, and double-dealing.

Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte, Marx's essay on the French coup of 1851, originally appeared in 1852 in the monthly magazine Die Revolution, published in New York.

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Octavo (212 x 138 mm). Contemporary black cloth-backed blue marbled paper boards, rebacked preserving the original spine, edges sprinkled black.


Extremities worn, corners bruised, contents lightly browned, more severely in places, else a very good copy.


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