• The Communist Manifesto

  • By: Karl Marx
  • Narrated by: Greg Wagland
  • Length: 1 hr and 34 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (1,021 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

‘It was a sweet finish after the bitter pills of floggings and bullets with which these same governments, just at that time, dosed the German working-class risings’.

The Communist Manifesto is, perhaps surprisingly, a most engaging and accessible work, containing even the odd shaft of humour in this translation by Samuel Moore for the 1888 English edition. It is, of course, an essential introduction to the thoughts and theories of Karl Marx and his collaborator and editor Friedrich Engels and therefore to the development of communism.

This brief but iconoclastic work, essentially a pamphlet, covers the history of the bourgeoisie, aspects of ‘class struggle’ with descriptions and analyses of numerous workers’ parties and movements up to the 1840s. It predicts and elaborates upon the defeat of capitalism and communism’s ultimate global victory. Written over 150 years ago it pulsates with energy, insight and contemporary relevance, ending with the rallying cry, ‘Workers of the World Unite.’ Greg Wagland, a history graduate and enthusiast, brings a certain freshness and energy to his reading of this far from dusty tome. A word about the narrator: born in Oxford, England, Greg Wagland is a classically trained actor, who attended St. Andrews University and drama school. He has worked in television, radio and theatre appearing in productions with the likes of Richard E. Grant, Penelope Keith, Bill Pertwee, Matt Smith, Roger Allam, Liza Goddard, Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray and Lindsay Duncan. He has recorded over 50 audiobooks, a number of those for the well-respected Talking Book Service of the RNIB. Now for Magpie Audio he is putting together an eclectic collection of classic fiction and non-fiction works and is always happy to receive suggestions for new titles.

Public Domain (P)2011 Magpie Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

"Our narrator has little to add, except his own words and in this capacity Greg Wagland has his work cut out. The trick with a reading of this kind is to make a clear distinction between which character has what voice, otherwise things could get complicated." ( The Guardian)
"Greg Wagland’s crescendo-free rendition allows this brilliantly structured novel to speak for itself." ( The Spectator)

What listeners say about The Communist Manifesto

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1000/10

Glory to Mother Russia and all of the Communist countries out there. This book was great comrades.

13 people found this helpful

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My advice, set speed to 1.5

Narration was awfully slow. Increased speed and it was bearable. I also finished it in 45 minutes

13 people found this helpful

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Forcibly over throw anyone who owns land?

I'm not really sure how to review this. The message is terrible, claiming that no one should own land except the government and the only way to achieve this goal is to forcibly over throw everyone in the middle class or upper class who owns land and money. But the company did a good job narrating the book so I don't want to give them a bad review for their part.

12 people found this helpful

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Count the bourgeois

I listened to this today while working. Hourly. In retail. With vegetables. In San Francisco. Classic.

11 people found this helpful

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Small question.

Why isn't this free? Serious question, how are proles going to afford this? I just thought that was funny.

10 people found this helpful

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Communism is outdated and should be thrown away.

While listening to this, it seemed extremely ironic to be listening about essentially how capitalism isn’t the answer, and the rise of the middle class only enslaves the proletariat. The beginning of capitalism may have been a rough start, and to some appeared bleak as people had the work in their hands and the idea was not to fall on the support of the government. It’s ironic because capitalism in a small way is the reason Greg Wagland can narrate, and supplied me with the smart phone to listen with. The communist manifesto offers a much more bleak world where nobody is allowed to privately own the entities of their choosing or seek a life that suites them. Individuality can only exist in a free society that capitalism has grown to offer.

6 people found this helpful

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A Necessary Read

The Communist Manifesto is not a tremendous read, but I will admit that when faced with the actual text it can be somewhat boring to get through. The very scientific tonality, when not delivered by a skilled orator, can sometimes be alienating. This is not a problem in an audiobook format. I believe that the Manifesto is an absolutely necessary read for anyone interested in the tenets of socialism and Marxism, and if the choice is between reading it in an audio format or not reading it at all, then you should get it whatever way you can.

Very straightforward, and the narrator - while not the most passionate - does his job well. Any topics that may confuse are easy to make a note of and research later. A short read overall, but if you're like me and find the act of reading to be ever-more difficult in the crushing, busy, and attention-sapping world capitalism has built for us, then this is a great way to make sure you know the Manifesto.

6 people found this helpful

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Enlightening

The narration was excellent. The content was, well, different than what I expected. I dont have the time or platform for thought and debate on it. All I can say is im glad I finally checked it for myself. I suggest others do as well. Its not that long at all, considering, so I'll likely listen/read many more times in the future.

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much Ado about nothing

I was hoping to have my reactionary worldview challenged or put into jeopardy. That's a negative ghost rider .

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Interesting

Marx stands at an interesting position. He made his observations and criticisms at a point in time before capitalism was understood and had been adopted by the world. His main criticism is the wage gap or the division of classes, but he himself admits that it was industry and improved communication that was increasing the power of the working class in relation to the ruling class and paving the way for his idealized revolution. That improved communications increase the power of the lower class has certainly been proven by social media and the ever growing power of the consumer to punish a poor company and promote a good one.

Marx also decries the evils of machinery, religion, and morality, and called for society to abolish all the these. He calls for an end of marriage and a world where women are communally shared.

The most disheartening thing for me is that he says his ideas are common sense, and at one point essentially says that logic or reasoning is pointless because his ideas just make so much sense, but that is really the entirety of his argument agaisnt Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

Well worth the read for anyone. If you support Communism, you ought to know what its original intentions were. If you oppose it, it will be good to know the enemy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • VeryEasilyBored
  • 06-07-20

Utterly Hypocritical Shite

Painfully poorly construed. Useless for anything other than creating an army of the intellectually flawed.

1 person found this helpful