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MARX, Karl.

[Index librorum banning Das Kapital from Russian public libraries.]

Alfavitnyi spisok proizvedeniiam pechati, kotorye … vospreshcheny Ministrom Vnutrennikh Del k obrashcheniiu v publichnykh bibliotekakh i obshchestvennykh chital'niakh [in Cyrillic]. [Alphabetical list of printed works which … are prohibited by the Ministry of Internal Affairs from circulation in public libraries and reading rooms.]

Saint Petersburg: Ministerstvo Vnutrennikh Del, 1894 Stock Code: 124940
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Marx's Kapital finally banned from Russian public libraries

Extremely rare example of a Russian index librorum for public libraries, recording the first - and rather late - attempt to censor the works of Marx, listing the first two volumes of Das Kapital, being the first edition of volume one in Russian (1872), and the first edition of volume two (1885). Scarce, no other examples traced on WorldCat or KVK.

"By an odd quirk of history the first foreign translation of Das Kapital to appear was the Russian, which Petersburgers found in their bookshops early in April 1872. Giving his imprimatur, the censor, one Skuratov, had written, 'few people in Russia will read it, and still fewer will understand it.' He was wrong; the edition of three thousand sold out quickly; and in 1880 Marx was writing to his friend F. A. Sorge that 'our success is still greater in Russia, where Kapital is read and appreciated more than anywhere else'" (PMM). As the worker's movement gained momentum, it was decided to censor Kapital. This pamphlet, based on a resolution dated 1 January 1894, selects works for removal and destruction from public libraries and reading rooms, and was intended strictly for internal use; a printed note forbids further publications or other disclosure of any part of it.

Among other famous works affected by this censor's ban are Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata in all editions, translations of various works by Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Emile Zola, and works on socialism such as The Eight Hours Day by Sidney Webb and Harold Cox. Also included was a translation of James Bryce, The American Commonwealth.

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Octavo (242 x 168 mm). Original buff wrappers printed in black, 16 pp., sewn.


Previous ownership stamp of A. Martynov to title page in purple ink. Wrappers creased with some marks, three small closed tears to extremities, contents toned, else a fresh copy of a fragile publication.


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