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Colloquium on Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion

The Cambridge Centre for Political Thought is hosting a colloquium on the new biography, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (Allen Lane/Harvard University Press) by Professor Gareth Stedman Jones on Friday 10 February, from 3pm until 6pm. The colloquium will consist of two panels, each discussing aspects of the book in light of their own work on related topics in the period.

Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion is both a biography of Marx and a portrait of his time, situating him in the world of the nineteenth century: an era dominated by new ideas about God, human nature, imperialism, political systems, and notions of the future. Stedman Jones places Marx amidst hopes and fears stirred by the French Revolution and the industrial transformation of England. Examining both Marx's views and those of his interlocutors, the book gives us new ways to conceive of his milieu and trajectory, and to assess the impact of ways of seeing the world developed by Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Ricardo, Saint-Simon and other thinkers. The book shows how Marx interpreted these philosophies into ideas that would have an overwhelming impact on the following century.

Gareth Stedman Jones is Professor of the History of Ideas at Queen Mary University of London and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Before joining Queen Mary in 2010, he was Professor of the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Outcast London, Languages of Class and An End to Poverty? as well as editor of the Penguin edition of The Communist Manifesto. He was also a founding editor of History Workshop Journal, and is currently Director of the Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge.

The colloquium be held in the McCrum Lecture Theatre, off Bene't St in Cambridge. Speakers include Gareth Stedman Jones (Queen Mary), Peter Ghosh (Oxford), Duncan Kelly (Cambridge), David Leopold (Oxford), and Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge). There will be a wine reception afterwards, to which all attendees are welcome.

Attendance is free, but as spaces are limited, registration is essential. Please register here:

3.00: Introduction

3.10: Peter Ghosh (History, Oxford)
3.35: Duncan Kelly (POLIS, Cambridge)
4.00: Q&A
Chair: Waseem Yaqoob (History, Cambridge)

4.40: David Leopold (Politics, Oxford)
5.05: Sylvana Tomaselli (History, Cambridge)
5.30: Q&A
Chair: Christopher Meckstroth (History, Cambridge)

6.00 - 6.30: Wine reception