200 years after his birth on 5 May 1818, Karl Marx continues to impact economic, political and sociological thought and indeed invite controversy. His legacy on the events of the 20th-century cannot be overestimated, and his ideas and publications have maintained their place in the canon of economic and political theory.
An exceedingly rare inscribed presentation copy of Marx’s classic opus, Das Kapital, is coming to auction in Sotheby’s online auction Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana (18–28 June, Online). Estimated to realize $50,000–70,000, the book is inscribed to Marx’s friend Sigmund Schott, a German bank director and journalist.
Schott was also a literary critic and bibliophile and was in correspondence with some of the period’s most important intellectual figures. Schott and Marx wrote to one another on a number of occasions over a period of several months.
Le Capital, or Das Kapital as it was titled in German, was published in France in 44 installments between August 1872 and May 1875. Only the first volume of this work was published during Marx’s lifetime; after his death, Friedrich Engels compiled and expanded his friend's notes into volumes II (1885) and III (1894). Since its initial publication, Volume I of Capital has come to be regarded as a seminal work of modern economic thought, and now holds a place alongside the likes of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776) and John Maynard Keynes's General Theory (1936).