The first US and the first English language editions of one of the most important books of our movement, and for social thought in the last century. Engels’ 1884 originally book was first titled ‘The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State: in the Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan.’ Morgan’s 1877 work ‘Ancient Civilizations’ had both impressed and intrigued Marx and Engels. When Marx died in 1883, Engels discovered notes Marx had made and set about, after his own Dialectics of Nature, to write what is basically, an extraordinarily insight materialist commentary on an already extraordinarily insightful book. Much has been learned and developed since that now challenges this work, along with some of its assumptions, yet nearly all work on the topic since must reference it. That is the power of its most substantive insights. While many editions have since been published, this translation is relatively rare to find, with most of the ones we study coming from the official translators at Moscow’s Marx Engels Institute or later updates. This comes from Kerr’s ‘Socialist Standard Series’ which did so much to introduce the works of Marx, Engels, and the Marx Party to workers and intellectuals in the US .Ernest Untermann was a German American member of the SLP, then the SP and an editor, writer and translator responsible for many of the first English translations of German socialism. He was for years an editor of Victor Berger’s Milwaukee Leader. Online text of later translation here.
The Origin of the Family Private Property and the State by Frederick Engels. Translated by Ernest Untermann. Charles H Kerr Publishers, Chicago. 1902.
Contents: Translator’s Preface (August 1902), Author’s Prefaces (1884, 1891), Prehistoric Stages, The Family, The Iroquois Gens, The Grecian Gens, Origin of the Attic State, Gens and State in Rome, The Gens Among Celts and Germans, The Rise of the State Among Germans. 217 pages.
Access to PDF of 1902 Edition: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015024944756?urlappend=%3Bseq%3D1%3Bownerid%3D13510798897614266-5