By Camilla Royle
Friedrich Engels was born in 1820 into a wealthy family in Barmen in what is now Germany. Engels lived through a time of extraordinary change throughout Europe, when old certainties were being questioned. Engels could speak nine languages and would later be described as the most widely educated man of his day. Engels was a scholar and an activist. He was an internationalist who was central to efforts to set up the Communist League. He took part in revolutionary struggles and in 1849 he was involved in an armed uprising. He was exiled and spent much of his life in Britain. Engels’s name is often mentioned in the same breath as Karl Marx. They co-wrote the Communist Manifesto and after Marx’s death, Engels edited volumes two and three of Marx’s Capital. Engels was a great thinker who made a massive contribution to Marxist thought in his own right. His works cover the conditions for working class people in his adopted home of Manchester, the history of peasant struggles, philosophy, women’s oppression, science, evolution and anthropology.
By Antony Hamilton
Malcolm X was an inspirational speaker, an activist and a revolutionary. He was born into poverty in 1925 in the US and his early life was shaped by racist violence: his home was firebombed when he was four and when he was six his father was found dead, probably killed by the Ku Klux Klan. By the time of Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965, he had become one of the most iconic figures of Black power.
This addition to the popular Rebel’s Guide series follows Malcolm X’s political journey and the movements and ideas that influenced it. It looks at why his ideas continue to resonate and why the need to take forward his arguments and militancy — “by any means necessary” — remains as strong as ever.
By Sally Campbell
Rosa Luxemburg was one of the key leaders of the German revolutionary left until her murder by right wing militiamen in 1919 at the height of the attempted revolution. A young, Polish, Jewish woman, she had fearlessly taken on the theoretical giants of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in defence of revolutionary Marxism. This Rebel’s guide puts forward Luxemburg’s case. She was an orator, teacher and leader who stood in the classical Marxist tradition – this little book shines a light on an all too often overlooked revolutionary.