In this book, Gary P. Steenson offers new interpretations of the history and nature of socialist movements in Germany, France, Austria, and Italy, from after Karl Marx's death until World War I. Based largely on Friedrich Engels's correspondence and those of other socialist party leaders, Steenson analyzes Engels's view of European politics and those of his strategic counsel. He also derives the standards of Marxian orthodoxy from party publications and the political press. The central importance of Engels is clear, as is the seductive appeal of his frequently insightful, often misguided counsel to working politicians. Steenson also finds that this period saw no contradiction in adherence to Marxism and full participation in democratic, representative politics-and that in those countries where democratic forms did not exist, Marxists led the struggle to obtain them.
Gary P. Steenson is a historian, specializing in Marxism and Europe. He is the author of several books, including:“Not One Man! Not One Penny!”: German Social Democracy, 1863Ð1914 and After Marx, Before Lenin: Marxism and Socialist Working-Class Parties in Europe, 1884-1914.